Donaldsonville Christmas Parade to roll through city today

Brandie Richardson @B_lifestyles
2015 Christmas Parade, themed Ugly Sweater

One of Donaldsonville's staple holiday events, the annual Christmas Parade, is strolling through town this Saturday, kicking off the Christmas season.

The Christmas parade has been a tradition of the historic town for nearly 20 years, but was on the verge of being permanently canceled three years ago until resident Murray Walker took it over.

"I refused to not let my community be without having a Christmas parade," Walker said. "The children look forward to this Christmas parade, so therefore, we are going to put it on."

With the help of the Donaldsonville Alumni Committee, Walker was able to keep the tradition alive for the children in Donaldsonville and neighboring communities.

"The parade has improved tremendously. Every year it gets bigger and bigger," he said. "You see the unity in the community for that day. Seeing our community coming together, seeing how the kids see the parade and smiling and laughing, the parade itself brought about unity in the community."

This year's event will see two Grand Marshals, State Representative Ed Price and Donaldsonville's own pastor and coach Darrell Marquette.

"He [Marquette] will be retiring this year and he has touched so many people's lives in this community, and its only fitting we show him how much we appreciate him."

Along with the parade, there will also be caroling and Christmas story telling from the students at Donaldsonville Primary and High School and Lowery Elementary and Middle School, jambalaya, courtesy of Councilman Oliver Joseph, and pictures with Santa Claus at Christmas in the Park.

This year, Walker said there will be a bicycle giveaway for children attending the events. All children who enter Christmas in the Park will be given a ticket and during the drawing, there will be between 30 and 40 bicycles given out to winners.

"The big picture is, without being said, is Christmas through a child's eyes. We are focusing on that particular child. This community is really growing and really coming together on community events."

The 2017 Donaldsonville Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. and will begin on Church St. and run to Marchand Drive, turning onto Railroad Ave. and ending at Louisiana Square, where Christmas in the Park will be held at.