Featuring Santa traveling by helicopter from the North Pole and more than 60 units, the Norco Christmas Parade will roll Sunday (Dec. 2).
“It’s a phenomenally family-oriented event,” said Stephen Weber, a parade organizer. “This year, we’re lucky enough to have the 610 Stompers [men’s dance troup] again. They’ve danced at the Macy’s parade.”
This year’s parade theme is, “Santa Celebrates Our Local Sports” and the lineup will include two Who Dat trucks.
The parade has grown in popularity with Weber describing what he felt was a record sized crowd last year lining most of the two-mile route. He expects the same crowd or bigger this year.
Santa will arrive by helicopter at about 1:30 p.m., kicking off the parade shortly after landing on the Mississippi River levee. He will be available for photos with children by the community Christmas tree on Apple Street after the parade.
“We’re saving Santa’s reindeers a lot of work,” Weber said. “We’re picking up Santa at the North Pole so the reindeer will be ready for Christmas Eve.”
Weber thanks NYU Helicopter for giving Santa a ride.
“I think it’s pretty awesome to see that helicopter and seeing Santa waving on his way to the landing,” he said.
The parade begins at 2 p.m. at River Road and Washington Street, travels east to Good Hope Street, travels north to Sixth Street, turns south on Apple Street and disbands at River Road.
Weber said there will be Christmas throws.
The parade’s more than 60 entries will include 12 floats. They also will include dance groups, horse riders, antique cars and pageant queens.
Weber said Batman and Robin also will be among them, as well as a Star Wars group that has walked in the parade yearly and a Jeep Club.
“We do have a good time with it, and we just hope for good weather,” he said.
The United Cajun Navy will have a unit in the parade. Weber said they invited them to participate this year.[pullquote]“We’re saving Santa’s reindeers a lot of work. We’re picking up Santa at the North Pole so the reindeer will be ready for Christmas Eve.” – Stephen Weber[/pullquote]
Returning parade regulars include bands from Destrehan High School (opens the parade), Riverside Academy (marches in front of Santa) and Harry Hurst Middle School.
The Norco Civic Association sponsors the parade, but Weber said Shell and Valero, the parade’s two largest sponsors, make the event possible. He also praised the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and the parish for also helping the parade.
“It is a great conglomeration of industry and people getting together to do something good,” he said.
Norco Christmas Parade tid bits
- The Norco Christmas Parade rolled in the1970s and 1980s before being discontinued for a reason still unknown today.
- A group of local citizens, including Norco native Stephen Weber, helped revive the parade in 2001.