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Christmas parade rolls in Norco Dec. 4

NORCO — The Norco Christmas Parade will honor the River Parishes’ first responders when it makes its annual roll Dec. 4.

“Norco Noel: Santa Salutes our First Responders” is the theme of this year’s parade, which begins promptly at 2 p.m. at River Road and Washington Street in Norco.

The parade will travel east on River Road then north on Good Hope Street before turning west on Sixth Street. It will travel south on Apple Street and disband at River Road.

Be sure to bring a camera because, following the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available to take free photos with children at the community Christmas tree, located between the Sub Express and the former Capital One location.

Each child will receive a free candy cane, as well.

Parade chairman Stephen Weber said this year’s parade will feature its usual wide variety of entries, including floats, marching bands, dance troupes, cheerleaders, antique cars, pageant queens, horse riding groups and assorted costumed characters.

St. John the Baptist Parish will be well-represented with the bands from East St. John High School, Riverside Academy, LaPlace Elementary School, the Master’s Touch Drumline of LaPlace, Aimee’s Dance Academy and the Performing Arts Dance Center.

“The parade really started as just a little Norco community parade, but now we’ve expanded to include all of the River Parishes,” Weber said.

“Riverside has been a regular participant, and we’ve always had the Andouille queens. East St. John has been a great addition. We also have had special guests from the New Orleans and Metairie areas, so we’re not just a little Norco parade anymore. We’ve grown so much, in fact, that we’ve been asked to kind of cut it back a little.”

Last year’s parade had approximately 80 entrants.

A Norco tradition in the early to mid 1970s, the parade stopped rolling in the 1980s.

Weber, a lifelong Norco resident, led a group to revive the parade in 2001. It has rolled every year since, except for 2001 following Hurricane Katrina.

The parade’s theme has honored Veterans, Norco residents, the Super Bowl, Christmas carols, River Parishes traditions, movies and, last year, the election.

“We invite everyone to bring their families and enjoy the parade,” Weber said.

“It’s a great way to kick off the Christmas season for everybody.”