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By MARK EVANS
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
As legendary football coach Mike Ditka said, “If you’re not in the parade, you watch the parade.”
This year more people than ever before will be in the Christmas Parade, and hopefully watching it as well, when it kicks off the 39th annual Ste. Genevieve Holiday Christmas Festival at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 2.
“It’s going to be really spectacular,” festival director Annette Rolfe said. “The parade is just magical, you know, that’s all I can say. It’s just a really spectacular parade. And I think it’s as good as the St. Louis parade on Thanksgiving.”
It will start and end at the Valle desert, circling through the downtown historic district.
Roth said numerous floats, classic cars, local queens and the Ste. Genevieve High School Marching Dragons will be among the 100+ participants. Several fire engines will be taking part, as well.
“Several members of the Corvette Club are coming up from Cape Girardeau this year,” Rolfe said, “and then we have several Corvettes locally that are going to be in the parade.”
So will a number of antique and classic cars from neighboring counties, as well as St. Louis and Cape Girardeau.
One will be a 1930 Ford Model A, with a Christmas tree on top, featuring its owner, Parade Grad Marshal Randy Ruzicka. (See story on Page 4B.)
“People come to see the cars because it’s fun,” Rolfe said.
There will also be many floats — some of them creative.
“We have a lot of people calling who want to have lighted cars, lighted floats, trailers, you know, different types of floats,” Rolfe said.
She noted that she expects vehicles and floats to have a Christmas theme.
“Vehicles are expected to be dressed appropriately for Christmas,” she said.
The parade has always been one of the most popular parts of the festival.
“Everyone gets excited, and people show up even on the day of the parade, because they just decide they want to be in it,” Rolfe said. “Sometimes they’ll just dress up and walk along the sides, or they’ll just show up and say, ‘Can I be in it please?’. And the guys always find a spot for them, because it’s so much fun.”
Rolfe feels it’s the ideal way to kick off the festival and get the town in a Christmas mood.
“The parade is really fun. It’s pretty magical. And it starts the whole weekend right.”