The Town of Jena’s nighttime Christmas Parade is set to roll through downtown Friday night, December 8, starting at 6 p.m.
The tradition has taken place for many years since moving from daylight hours to the night, allowing floats to be decorated with thousands of lights as the town officially ushers in the Christmas season.
Grand Marshal for the 2023 parade is longtime LaSalle Assessor Jimmy Dean. He will lead the parade as it travels through Jena with the other, much anticipated feature of the parade, Santa Claus, appearing at the end.
Organizers are still seeking additional floats for the parade and the deadline for entering is today, December 6. To enter or for more information, contact Mickey Cockerham at (318) 992-3461.
Anyone may enter the parade and are encouraged to do so, whether it’s a traditional trailer float, car, truck or golf carts.
Officials are asking that more churches, businesses, schools, bands, community leaders, civic clubs, etc. to participate to help make this one of the largest parades in history.
Once again, all entries will be judged with prize money given for various winning entries. The judges stand will be located in the parking lot of Southern Heritage Bank and this is also the location where performing units will perform.
For floats, first place will receive $450, second place $150 and third place $100.
For golf carts, first place will receive $150 and second place $75.
For performing units, first place will receive $50 and second place $25.
This year’s theme is “A Louisiana Christmas” and it will line up at the Jena Town Park. At 6 p.m., the parade will leave the park and travel on Sycamore Street to US 84 (Oak Street), where it will turn right, or West, through downtown Jena to LA 127 (First Street). It will then travel north on LA 127 to the intersection of First Street and Elm Street (LaSalle Parish Library) where it will disband.
Along with the Jena Christmas Parade, other Christmas events are taking place this week include the Town of Tullos’ Christmas Festival in the Park with live gospel music and special guest, Santa Claus.
For more LaSalle Parish Christmas events, please see the listing on the Community Events page in this issue.