Ascension Chamber Christmas parade rolls

Wade McIntyre
Grand Marshall Buzzy Haydel, a Gonzales native and member of the 2009 National Champion LSU Tigers baseball team, rides through the streets of the city Sunday.

How it went

Grand Marshall Buzzy Haydel led the 2009 Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade through downtown Gonzales Sunday before a crowd estimated by the chamber to be 25 to 30,000 people strong.

On the streets were 110 floats of every size and shape, representing three different categories.

“My gosh, there was a lot of stuff thrown, stuffed animals, beads, candy and kinds of things,” Chamber President/CEO Sherry Despino said Monday afternoon.

This year, under two new ordinances enacted by the Gonzales City Council, those attending the parade were not allowed to have alcoholic beverages are bring pets along the parade route streets.

“Everybody told me the crowds and safety seemed to be more controlled this year,” she said.

Problem-free weekend

Police Chief Sherman Jackson reported no arrests  or incidents during the parade.

In fact, Jackson said there were no arrests all over the city over the weekend.

“It’s the first time there were no arrests like that since I’ve been on the police force, he said Monday.

Area law enforcement agencies took part in the parade in greater numbers this year, according to the chief.

Among the groups were the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Task Force and Motorcycle Division, the police chief of St. Gabriel and town officers, motorcycle officers from Denham Springs and Baton Rouge and Louisiana State Police.

Parade honors

Best of Show - St. Elizabeth Hospital

Civic Religious Category

1st Place- Dutchtown,  East Ascension  and St. Amant High Homecoming Queens and Mascots

2nd place – Ascension Christian High School

3rd place – Baton Rouge Aids Society

Honorable mentions – True Light Worship Center, St. Amant  High School FFA

Children’s Division

1st Place- Cub Scout Pack 249, Float No. 2

2nd place – Dutchtown 4H Club

3rd place – Oak Grove Primary 4H Club Float No. 2.

Honorable mentions - Cub Scout Pack 399, Girl Scouts Troop 10262 and Dancing Daisy’s

Commercial Division

1st Place- Cox Communications

2nd place - EATEL

3rd place - Area Realty

Honorable mentions – All About Insurance, Impact Cheerleading, Krewe of Nemesis Hebert Steel, LaBowtique, Lori’s School of Dance Floats 1 & 2, Misuraca Orthodontics and Oak Lane Memorial Park.

For more photos, see:

Santa Claus was a popular member of the parade featuring 110 floats.