The Norco Civic Association will hold its annual Norco Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m., with this year’s parade theme titled “Norco Noel: Santa Celebrates the Joy of Christmas.”
“I think it’s a great community, family-oriented parade,” Norco Civic Association president and parade organizer Stephen Weber said of this year’s Norco parade festivities. “I like to say it ushers in the Christmas season for the River Parishes, given we have groups from all over the River Parishes participating.”
This year’s parade will feature nearly 70 total units, including 12 floats, various high school and middle school marching bands, dance teams, fire trucks, two equestrian riding groups along with various other participants.
The 2023 Christmas parade will include a number of standout groups, parade organizers said, including the River Region Ballet’s Nutcracker Ballet cast dressed in Nutcracker character costumes, local children’s entertainment venue Ponytails riding with several of the businesses’ star ponies, among others.
“We will have the Master’s Touch Drum line [at the parade], which is the drum line that plays at the Pelicans games,” Weber said. “This year we will [also have] the Model A Club, which features a bunch of Model As that were recently at the Destrehan Plantation Festival, with a number of antique cars.”
Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to arrive via a special helicopter escort, landing along the Mississippi River levee around 12:45 p.m. just before the parade kicks into full marching gear. Both Santa and Mrs. Claus are anticipated to be available at the end of the parade for photos at Norco’s Community Christmas tree, located at the Norco Town Square on Apple Street.
The parade will follow its traditional rectangular-shaped route starting at River Road and Apple Street, turning down Good Hope Street, then north on Sixth Street, finally traveling south on Apple Street before ending where it began at River Road.
With its primary sponsors Shell and Valero, the parade is a Christmastime tradition for the River Parishes and the town of Norco, which first held its Christmas parade beginning in the 1950s on into the 1980s. After a two-decade hiatus and a growing consensus from locals to bring it back, the parade was reestablished in 2001 by a core group of civic-minded locals including lifelong Norco resident Stephen Weber.
“Over the years it’s been such a great event; we have had so many people showing up for this parade,” Weber commented. “It’s amazing the number of people that come out and watch it.”
For more information on the Norco Civic Association’s 2023 Norco Christmas Parade, visit the group’s parade website at www.norconoel.org.