Santa will be joined by Darth Vader, a master drumline and dance troupes from around the area when the Norco Christmas parade rolls through town celebrating Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Dec. 2.
The most important guests of the day, 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 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.
Six floats and several trucks are signed up for the parade along with numerous dance groups, school bands, cheerleaders, horse riders and drum corps. Organizers expect nearly 70 total groups.
Some of the group highlights include the Masterís Touch Drumline and the 501st Star Wars marching group. Floats from Motiva, Oldies but Goodies, the Special Olympics, KC Kids, the Cub Scouts and Norco Elementary will toss goodies to the crowd.
Destrehan principal Stephen Weber, one of the parade organizers, said that there are several great 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 Academy school band will be leading Santa and Mrs. Claus."
For those in the giving spirit, Koats for Katz will collect jackets and coats for the needy from their football truck, while the Destrehan baseball team will collect non-perishable food items for the less fortunate.
The theme of this yearís parade is "Santa Hosts the Super Bowl," which will highlight the big game to be held on Feb. 3 in the Superdome. Football-designed floats and two Who Dat trucks will help get the crowd into the Super Bowl spirit.
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 parents 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."