St. Charles Herald-Guide

Creative boaters show off floats at bayou parade

Michelle Stuckey - December 2, 2011

Don’t miss your chance to see gingerbread houses, reindeer and snowmen making their way down the bayou during this year’s annual Christmas boat parade.

Holiday boaters will start their engines on the earliest date ever for this year’s Christmas on the Bayou boat parade. Spectators can look for the decorated vessels on Dec. 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. in Bayou Gauche.

Boaters will throw beads and candy to the crowds on shore and there will be cash prizes for the top three decorated boats. This is the third year that the parade has awarded cash prizes. The first place winner will receive $300, second place will get $200 and third place will get $100.

Yvette Dunn, parade organizer, said she raises the money by doing a football pool and that she and her husband pay for the fireworks themselves.

Dunn said that the parade will be held on the first Saturday in December from now on.

Last year, the parade was held on Dec. 4 in an attempt to draw more participation from boaters and spectators. Dunn said that the date will also work out better for the community in case the high school football teams make the playoffs in the coming years.

"If Hahnville makes the playoffs and goes to state, that game is always the second week in December," she said.

In the past the parade has averaged about 15 boats, but participation has dwindled in recent years and Dunn hopes that more will show up to this weekend’s parade.

The boats will line up at 6:30 p.m. at the pump station on Highway 306, Bayou Gauche Island in Des Allemands. The boats will go down the island past Fisherman’s Wharf.

Anyone wishing to enter a boat into the parade can call Dunn at (504)495-8491 or just show up starting at 5:30 p.m. on parade day.

There is no fee for participation.