Veterans Day Parade rumbles through Gonzales

Wade McIntyre
Donaldsonville High School’s 42-member Jr. ROTC group prepares to march with a giant American flag on Irma Boulevard in Gonzales during the Veterans Day Parade which kicked off the Festival of Festival event Thursday.

With over 70  parade entries and a high-flying buzzover from three F-15 fighter jets, the Ascension Parish Veterans Day Parade Thursday afternoon proved a crowd pleaser - and a pleasant kickoff for the four-day Festival of Festivals which followed at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

It was the biggest single day of free activity in the parish in years.

And the crowds were large on the last leg of the parade along Burnside Avenue from Worthey to Hwy. 30.

There were mortorcycle riders, horseback riders, vintage cars, the area high school marching bands, and firetrucks galore.

Kids and their parents and Veteran members of the family waved as the parade road past.

One highlight:  42 members of the Donaldsonville High School Jr. ROTC marched the entire parade with a 42 by 50-foot American flag held proudly aloft.

Around 5,000 miniature American flags were passed out by parade participants for those in attendance to wave high.

Float after float decked out in a Veteran’s Day theme rolled by.

The parade served as a prelude for the big event of the day in Ascension Parish, the first annual Festival of Festivals at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.

The Festival kicked off at 6 p.m. with music provided by the Baton Rouge Concert Band.

After a performance by Chris LeBlanc, the big day and night closed with a concert by Marcia Ball that had a nice sized crowd in the Robbie Savoy arena boogying and calling for more tunes.

The Ascension Parish Veteran’s Parade included vintage cars and veteran riders.