Parish to host parades this week

Published 1:58 pm Thursday, February 24, 2011

CLAYTON — Concordia Parish will have two parades this week, giving parish residents a chance to stay close to home and have a good time.

The first parade will be at 6 p.m. Friday in Clayton.

The parade will be Clayton’s first Mardi Gras parade, and parade organizer Nathaniel Davis Jr. said its all about getting people into the Mardi Gras spirit.

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“We have around 10 floats so far, and we are looking for more,” he said. “We just want everyone to come out and enjoy the Mardi Gras season with Clayton.”

Davis said parade entry is free, and the line-up will start at 5:30 p.m. by Running Oaks at the Old Mary Store parking lot.

The parade will go start on the Waterproof highway, where it will go until the route turns right onto U.S. 425. The parade will then end at Jerry’s Shop in Clayton.

Davis said everyone who enters a float into the competition needs to stick around after the parade for a free after party at the park in Clayton.

“We are going to be serving barbecue and free food for the participants,” he said. “Make sure you head out to be a part of the fun.”

The second parade of the week for Concordia will be the Elizabeth Anderson Davis Black History Parade at 3 p.m. Saturday in Ferriday.

Float entry fee for the parade is $25, and the line-up will be at 2 p.m. at Ferriday Junior High School.

The parade will begin at the junior high, where it will then move to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and then end back at FJHS.

Parade organizer Rosemary Elaine said this is the third time the parade has been organized, and it is all about educating area youth on the past struggles of the black population.

“We want the kids to know that we had some hardships,” she said. “We want them to realize that things are better now than they were in the past.”

The grand marshal for the parade will be 97-year-old Ferriday native Olivia Seals, with honorary grand marshal being Frank Morris.

Morris was a black Ferriday native who owned a shoe store in the town. Morris was killed in 1964 when he was locked in his store as it was burned to the ground.

“We are just trying to keep the memory of Frank alive, and it is very important for people to come out and be a part of this,” she said. “We are trying to make history.”

Elaine said any business, church, school, civic organization or government official that wants to join the parade is encouraged to participate in the festivities.

“We just want everyone to come out and at least take a look at the past as we honor black history,” she said. “We are trying to bring the people of Ferriday out for a good cause.”