It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and that means it’s nearly time for the Gonzales Main Street Winterfest Christmas parade, to be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 in downtown Gonzales after the official city tree lighting.
This is a time where holiday spirit brings families together to share old memories and make new ones. Parade applications are available online by going to https://bit.ly/3QI7LtZ. The theme for this year’s festivities will be “An Old Fashioned Christmas.”
Please complete the application and return to secure your place in line. We ask that applications please be submitted to City Hall by Nov. 22, 2023. If time does not allow for accommodation, late applications will be placed towards the end of the parade.
The parade route will start at College and Saint Louis Streets and head west, turning north on Saint James and east on Saint Lawrence Street before turning north again on Saint Joseph in front of the Christmas tree, east on Saint George, south on Saint Paul and then east again on Saint Lawrence to the stopping point at the intersection with Saint Peter.
Gonzales Main Street Parade Rules
Parade begins promptly at 7 p.m., rain or shine (bring rain gear or plastic covering if needed). Judging will take place as participants drive through downtown. All entrants should be in place and set up by 6:30 p.m.
1. No undecorated private or commercial large trucks, tractors etc. will be included in the parade. (Ex. beer trucks, grocery trucks, heavy farm equipment) Does not apply to antique-type vehicles. Car & truck clubs, antique and others, limited to 8 entries per club. Autos and large vehicles must be driven by a licensed driver. Small vehicles (mini-bikes, go-carts, etc.) Must be operated by a person 12 years or older and parents are responsible for the conduct of the participating minor(s).
2. Any and all horses participating in the parade must have an up to date, negative Coggins paper presented to the Chairperson along with the parade entry. No individual horse & riders. Only members of organized groups that are registered. All entries must have a designated contact person responsible for groups’ conduct. There must be an address and current phone number provided. All riders in cavalcade groups (horses, trail riders, etc.) are encouraged to dress in common attire or costume as a group. Example: blue jeans, western shirt, cowboy hat, etc. It is preferred to have your horse(s) diapered if possible.
3. Alcoholic beverage consumption by drivers or any participants before or during the parade is expressly forbidden. If a participant is seen consuming alcohol prior to or during the parade, it will result in their immediate removal from the parade formation and will affect future invitations.
4. No items such as candy, gum, koozies, water bottles or pencils, etc. will be allowed to be thrown from parade entries. Your organization may have someone walking beside your entry handing out these items. If you are handing out items, please do not stall the parade. No children under 12 years or younger may walk the parade route. No Silly String or comparable material is to be used to spray other entrants, pedestrians, vehicles etc.
5. Marching drill teams will be limited to official school groups, ROTC units and military or veterans’ organizations. All school bands and youth groups are to be accompanied by an adult leader. High school bands that participate are encouraged to bring their Junior High bands either to march with them or as a separate unit. Please complete a separate registration form for each. Leader's name and a phone number must be submitted with registration. NOTE – All marching groups are to report to the starting point at Saint Louis & College Street prior to the parade rather than to their numbered space along the lineup route.
6. When disbanding, please don’t block flow of traffic for the entries behind you.
7. Due to the length of the parade, it is very important that it keep moving! There should be no more than 1-2 car spaces between each entry. Please don’t intentionally stop or slow the movement of the parade for any demonstration etc., maintain the set spacing. If your entry has mechanical or other problems, pull off to the side and we will try to get you assistance quickly.
8. “School” entries are limited to recognized organizations. (Ex. FFA, FHA, DECA, cheerleaders, student council, class officers and royalty etc.) Entry forms turned in and approved by the school principal. "Class" vehicles are for currently enrolled students. Reunion floats are permitted and encouraged.
9. All vehicles participating in the parade must be clean and in safe operating condition. They must also be operated in a safe manner not to endanger other participants or spectators.
10. All floats, autos, trucks and ‘novelty’ entries should display their assigned parade position number in a readable manner on both sides of the vehicle for judging purposes. A typed # (8 1/2" x 11") will need to be taped to both sides of the vehicle windshield in the upper corners so they are visible.
11. The Parade Committee retains the right to refuse entry of any float, unit or individual not conforming to the standards of the Committee. Failure to comply with the parade rules may result in removal from the parade formation and will affect future invitations.
12. The Gonzales Main Street Committee & City of Gonzales assume no responsibility for accidents or loss of any kind. We will make every effort possible to provide an enjoyable and safe parade for everyone but will need and expect your cooperation in order to achieve this goal.
13. The fee for all parade entries is $10.
14. There will only be one Santa Claus in this parade and Gonzales Main Street is responsible for securing said Santa.