St. Charles Herald-Guide

15 decorated boats fight for $300 prize in parade

Kyle Barnett - December 1, 2012

For the 16th straight year, residents and visitors to Bayou Gauche Island will get a chance to see the floating Christmas parade known as Christmas on the Bayou.

The holiday-themed flotilla is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m. in its earliest start ever.

"It will be the first Saturday of December from now on," event organizer Yvette Dunn said. "We find that we have the most participation because we arenít running into family Christmas parties."

Parade-goers will stand on the shore as a group of decorated boats makes its way from the Bayou Gauche pump station to Fishermanís Wharf, where winnerís for best decorations will be named.

The first place winner will receive $300, second place will get $200 and third place will receive $100.

Dunn said she expects 15 boats to participate in the parade this year and that anyone who is interested in joining in the parade and decoration competition can do so at no cost.

"Itís definitely for people to participate. People think there is a charge, but there is no fee," Dunn said.

Judges for the competition are brought in from outside the community to ensure impartiality.

"The judges are not from here," Dunn said. "Ms. Thelma, she lives on the island and she brings people in from elsewhere. I donít even know who they are."

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

She said the parade is a lot of fun for the boaters and all involved.

"They enjoy it and kids that are older they are also getting involved. The people on the island enjoy it, they really do," Dunn said.

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

15 decorated boats fight for $300 prize in parade