Women’s Club of Picayune to host Christmas parade

Published 6:35 pm Monday, November 2, 2015

The Women’s Club of Picayune, an affiliate of the General Federation Women’s Club and the Mississippi Federation Women’s Club are seeking entries now for their annual Christmas parade on Dec. 7. This year’s theme will be “A Musical Christmas,” and entrants are asked to portray Christmas music like Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, O Silent Night, or Winter Wonderland,” Nancy Griffin, a member of the Civic Women’s Club of Picayune, said.

Griffin said her mother, Audline Smith, who was a charter member of the women’s club, entered a float in the parade’s inaugural 1959 parade and did such a good job that the women’s club sponsored the event in 1960. Smith was the chairman of the parade that year and for many years after.

They had a very limited number of floats in the early years, but at one point there were up to 175 entries in the parade, Griffin said. Due to congestion, the police limited it to 75 entries.

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“At the height there were at least 10,000 people that watched the parade. Every year the local clubwoman of the year serves as the grand marshal. This year it’s Debbie Benoit. And the special guest, as always, is Santa Claus and his wife, Mrs. Claus,” Griffin said. “I love to see the smiles on all the children’s faces; they are always so excited to see Santa Claus and it is a big family affair and families really turn out for this.”

The women’s club has judges that come from out of town to choose the best floats in each category before the parade.

In the past, Griffin has been impressed by the entries of the dance organizations, which she said, do a good job and carry out the theme of the Christmas parade. Participating churches do a great job depicting the real theme of Christmas, the birth of Christ, Griffin said.

Entry forms can be picked up from the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce, Handy Cleaners, MeLinda’s and PJ’s Coffee. Rose Vicknair, the Christmas Parade Chariperson, can be contacted at 601-347-2197.

“Please give us a call and we would be happy to give you any information you need to help get your entry into the parade. The proceeds all go back into the community like art, schools, international outreach and scholarships,” Griffin said.

The entry deadline is Nov. 27.