The Annual Coushatta Christmas Parade and Festival was once again a fun-filled, family friendly celebration of togetherness for our community. With over 20 floats and one very exciting school bus, the parade and fireworks were a great success. So many people contributed to making this event a highlight for our year. The Coushatta-Red River Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Coushatta sponsor the event and fireworks in conjunction with the Red River Police Jury and Red River Parish School Board each year.
Highlights for this year’s season include a major facelift for Front Street complements of the Town of Coushatta and Mayor Johnny Cox. The columns on Front Street have been upgraded, the old Stephen’s store given a new façade, and the extension of the Front Street Stage are a welcomed addition. Under the direction of Mr. Peter Drake the additions were completed and the project was handed over to the Chamber of Commerce to complete an electrical upgrade. Daniel Simpson designed and coordinated the lighting decorations for Front Street. In addition to the lighting of Front Street, Mr. Simpson also worked fervently with the Police Jury to install new lighting for our Courthouse.
Judges for this year’s parade were organized by Mrs. Karen Moseley and Mrs. Edna Webb. They included Mrs. Julie Jones, Mrs. Deborah Babers, Mrs. Johnnie Banks, Mrs. Edna Webb, and Mrs. Susan Taylor. Performances by many of the school groups featured the talent of our parish. The entries of floats, band, and Jr. ROTC shows the commitment to community by The Red River Parish School Board.
Also singing Several Songs was Mrs. Dianne Allison.
This year the Chamber of Commerce started a new tradition-The Reindeer Run. Area businesses participated and consumers were able to visit local businesses, take an “Elfie”, and be entered into a final drawing. Catherine Bijolle coordinated this event and winners were Tori Bamburg and Avery Vascoe. Each of these ladies won several $50 gift certificates from the businesses who participated. We hope to expand this event next year.
Each year the Festival Committee begins meeting months in advance to prepare for the event. This year the following people served as chairmen of the committees and worked tirelessly to produce an event for all. Parade Chairman is once again Mrs. Christy Suggs. Judges Chairman is Mrs. Karen Moseley. Entertainment Chairmen included Mrs. Vera Smith and Mrs. Katherine Smith. Advertising and Signage Chairman is Mrs. Trina Brown.
Coordination between the Red River Parish Sheriff’s office and the City Police ensures that all of the citizens have a safe and happy experience. We are blessed to have such caring and active public servants. They work many behind scenes duties as well as traffic control.
Much recognition goes to Michele Vascoe and Lydia Carter of the Bank of Coushatta for all of their work in getting the vendors to the festival and organizing the vendor venue. Also from the BOC was Rebecca Procell who created the Candy Cane effect for the Front Street columns.
David Beard secured the auxillary lighting and power plants for our vendors and Major Edwards from RRHS worked with the town to provide a safe viewing area at the Front Street Stage. Kelley Lee organized and supported our hospitality room this year and helped to prepare for the judging of the parade. Krissi Birdsong coordinates the Chamber preparations.
Two men who never get enough credit are Mr. Dexter Russell and Mr. Tommy Wilson. These two gentlemen are responsible for coordinating the placement of all of the Christmas displays throughout town and working with Cleco and Cp-Tel to hang the decorations on our light poles. They also work tirelessly to prepare for the events on Front Street.
This event is growing each year. Preparations for making next year’s event even more exciting have already begun.
Red River Parish School Board
Overall Best Float Bulldogs’ Family Christmas
Red River High School
Most Creative Float Keep Christ in Christmas
First United Methodist Church and Wesley Chapel
Most Overall Theme The Children of Christmas
River City Rods and Customs
Karen Taylor Squires
President of Coushatta-Red River Chamber of Commerce