St. Charles Herald-Guide

Santa meets Star Wars at Norco Christmas parade

Jonathan Menard - December 2, 2011

Santa will be joined by Darth Vader, a master drumline and popular fiddler Amanda Shaw when the Norco Christmas parade rolls through town on Dec. 4.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will fly into Norco in a helicopter (their sleigh is being serviced for the big night), landing on the River Road levee near Apple Street at around 1:40 p.m. The Clauses will then be ushered into their special float just in time for the parade, which will start at 2 p.m. at the intersection of River Road and Washington Street.

From there, the parade turns north on Good Hope Street, west on Sixth Street and then south on Apple Street. It disbands at the intersection of Apple Street and River Road.

Currently, 12 floats are signed up for the parade along with numerous dance groups, school bands and horse riders. Organizers expect nearly 70 total groups.

Some of the group highlights will include the Masterís Touch Drumline and the 501st Star Wars marching group. Singing sensation Amanda Shaw will also entertain parade-goers and beads and candy will be thrown to the crowd.

For those in the giving spirit, Bruceís Coats for Kids will collect jackets and coats for the needy while the Destrehan baseball team will collect non-perishable food items for the less fortunate.

The theme of this yearís parade is "Norco Noel: A Musical Christmas," which will highlight generations of favorite Christmas songs. Destrehan principal Stephen Weber, one of the parade organizers, said because of the theme there are more musical and dance groups this year.

"The Masterís Touch Drumline is fantastic and consists of kids of all ages who are really talented," he said. "The Destrehan band will also lead the parade, while the Riverside High School band will be leading Santa and Mrs. Claus."

The family fun continues after the parade with a community celebration at the Capital One Bank parking lot on Apple Street, where Santa and Mrs. Claus will light the Christmas tree.

Both Clauses will pose for pictures with the children in attendance, so organizers encourage parade-goers to bring their cameras.

Weber says that the family atmosphere is what sets the Norco parade apart.

"It is a much more family-centered parade than the ones you go to during Mardi Gras," he said. "Itís something that families of Norco, as well as families from surrounding areas, look forward to each year."

Santa and Mrs. Claus will fly into Norco on a helicopter and will be ushered into a special float that will take them through Norco.
Jonathan Menard
Santa and Mrs. Claus will fly into Norco on a helicopter and will be ushered into a special float that will take them through Norco.