Parade lights up Natchez

Published 12:09 am Sunday, December 4, 2011

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — One-year-old Kameryn Holden watches the middle school band during the Natchez Christmas parade on Main Street Saturday night.

NATCHEZ — Linda Young said she felt confident enough in the Tigers Saturday night to catch a glimpse of Christmas parade on Main Street from the front step of Andrew’s Tavern.

“We’re winning, anyway,” said a purple-and gold-clad Young, who positioned herself to keep one eye on the game during the second half.

“We came here to watch the game. We didn’t know the parade was going on — this is a benefit,” the Ferriday native said.

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Becky Davidson and her 2-year-old granddaughter Riley Davidson enjoy the Natchez Christmas parade on Main Street Saturday night.

But Louisiana State University football didn’t stop hundreds of locals from catching the colorful lights, marching bands, Santa, the religious Blues Brothers and even Baby Jesus pass by.

When police sirens ushered in the first float, siblings Emma and Connor Freeman showed their excitement by breaking it down.

“I like (the parade) because you can dance,” Emma said as she strutted on the sidewalk.

A cheerleading move in which two women were lifted in the air elicited a “Whoa” from Connor.

“I like watching,” Connor said.

As soon as the first float rounded Broadway Street and crossed Canal Street, a handful of young children popped into the air and rested on the shoulders of Mom or Dad.

“(He’ll) be up there the whole parade,” Rosalyn Davis said about his 4-year-old Carlton propped on his shoulders.

“If he can’t see he’ll have a fit.”

Some participants in the parade seemed at least equally as eager to cruise down Main Street as those who cheered for them on the sidelines.

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Zayde Farley, 5, watches the floats pass during the Natchez Christmas parade on Main Street Saturday night.

The entire Cub Scout Troop 185 from Frazier Elementary School could barely contain themselves as they lined up on Broadway Street.

“Of course (I’m excited),” Adam Penton Jr. said.

Troop leader, Adam Penton Sr., reminded the troop of some ground rules before their trailer pushed forward.

“Gentleman, no trash outside the trailer,” he told the first and second graders.

The cubs, who sat cross-legged on the floor of a trailer, had stashes candy and stuffed animals ready to throw to their family and friends.

Adam Jr. said he was saving a teddy bear to throw to his teacher.

“They’re fantastically excited,” Adam Sr. said.

Kalethia Gines hung her feet from the back of a pickup truck and rode with her friends in the Health Occupation Students of America float from Natchez High School’s Fallin Career and Technical Center.

Her strategy for keeping the crowd entertained was to ring bells, throw candy and flash a smile, which she said was easy to do.

“Just being here and having fun (is exciting),” Gines said.

ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Robert Lewis Middle School dancers dance to holiday music played by the middle school band.

“It’s the Christmas season.”

Following the floats and marching band performances, the crowd received an extra treat for their eyes and ears during a fireworks display on the bluff.

The parade winners were:

– Traditional float — Blues Brothers, church float

– Best use of lights — Krewe of Phoenix

– Most bling — Krewe of Fat Mama’s

– Best use of natural elements — Spring Hill Baptist Church

Winners can contact the Natchez-Adams Chamber of Commerce at 601-445-4611 to collect their prizes.

The grand marshal of the parade was City Engineer David Gardner who rose with his wife Tammi and daughter Nella.