Norco Parade celebrates holidays with flair

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 5, 2014

By Monique Roth

NORCO — “Santa Salutes Our Military” will be the theme Sunday as the annual Norco Christmas parade rolls through the streets of Norco in St. Charles Parish.

Traditionally held on the first Sunday in December, the parade starts at 2 p.m. at River Road and Washington Street, turns north on Good Hope Street, turns west on Sixth Street and then heads south on Apple Street, disbanding at Apple Street and River Road.

Lori Lyons, a committee member of the Norco Civic Association, said the parade is sponsored each year by the Norco Civic Association and the Norco Christmas Parade Committee.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Lyons said. “The kids go home with lots of stuff.”

With over 90 bands, marching groups, clubs, civic organizations, antique car clubs, pageant queens and equine riding groups comprising the parade, Lyons said this year’s event will be one of the largest.

Featured participants this year include Star Wars walkers, the St. Augustine High School band and Batman with his Batmobile.

The family fun continues after the parade stops rolling with the lighting of a Christmas tree and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus next to the old Capital One Bank on Apple Street.

Free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available, and Lyons said everyone is encouraged to bring their cameras.

“The parade is very family oriented,” Lyons said. “We encourage a family atmosphere. It has become a local tradition.

“People come every year and bring their children and then their grandchildren.”

Because this year’s parade will roll on the historic date of Dec. 7, the parade committee decided to honor River Parishes veterans with the parade’s theme.

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,300 Americans. The U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed and the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized. A total of 12 ships sank or were beached in the attack, nine other vessels were damaged, more than 160 aircraft were destroyed and more than 150 others damaged on that day 73 years ago.

Lyons said at least eight River Parishes veterans will participate in the parade, and will be prominently featured riding golf carts towards the front of the event.

This is the 14th year the parade will roll, Lyons said. The parade was revived in 2001 after being formed in the 1970s, and has rolled every year except 2005 following Hurricane Katrina. In 2005 a community celebration and Christmas tree lighting was still held.

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