Area elves jingled all ‘round town at Christmas parade

Sonya T. Gordon

During the spring, the Gonzales Jambalaya Festival Association is known for one thing – the spicy Cajun rice dish with shrimp, chicken and vegetables. There was some of that Dec. 12, but mostly cool music and festive floats during the Association’s Gonzales Christmas Parade. 

The Jambalaya Festival Association hosted its annual Christmas parade Dec. 12 in Gonzales.

About 24 floats and bands participated in the parade, and Santa Claus waved to the children as he passed atop the grandest float. Association President Wally Taillon said the turnout was spectacular. 

“We had 12 bands from area schools alone,” he said. “And families lined the streets. I didn’t have anything like this when I was a child. This parade is all about the kids. They look forward to this.”

Taillon enjoys the event, as he does all those for which the association volunteers. But he’s too busy to really enjoy the parade. His face was hidden over steamy pots of jambalaya he cooked up to sell at the celebration. 

“Cooking is my thing,” he said. “It’s what I love to do. I leave that part to our parade chairman, Bart Himel, who worked very hard to plan the parade with the help of JFA members.” 

The association took on the parade in 2010 when approached by the chamber of commerce as “another opportunity to give back to our community,” Taillon said.

He added that there were very few complaints about inappropriate music from some entrants, but that matter was handled quickly and will not occur again. The JFA posted a Facebook page apology, but Taillon said they wouldn’t let the matter “rain on our parade.  It was a positive thing for the community,” he said.

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This year’s grand marshal was Dale Hidalgo, owner of Dale’s Garbage Service.  He is known as a big supporter of JFA and “all of our civic endeavors.” It is doubtful, however, that much of the candy and toys thrown during the parade ended up with Hidalgo’s service. The children scooped it up with glees of joy and stuffed their pockets full.