VAN WADE — Weekend Christmas parades in Orange County can make us all jolly

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, November 30, 2022

After being stuffed with ham, turkey, dressing, four-layer desserts and plenty of football watching, especially college, this Thanksgiving was definitely full of blessings.

Time with our immediate family was something well-needed and definitely made me realize what is most important in life, and of course, a few extra pounds here and there can’t hurt.

Now it’s the time of year where Christmas is around the corner. Believe me, I know, the inside of our house already looks like a Winter Wonderland.

Thanksgiving is festive, but there is nothing like watching everyone get into that Christmas spirit.

That will be the case for many Christmas fans across Orange County with two Christmas parades set up this coming Saturday.

The Kiwanis Club of Orange is hosting the 73rd Annual Orange, Texas Christmas Parade with the theme being “Through the Decades.” The parade starts at 6 p.m.

The Bridge City Chamber of Commerce Christmas Light Parade also starts at 6 p.m.

Bridge City will also be having Christmas in the Park Friday and Saturday. Hours Friday are from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

On Friday night in Bridge City they will be having a Reverse Santa. Santa Claus will be on hand to take photos with children of all ages. Santa also got in touch with me and is asking each child to bring him a “new” unwrapped toy that he can give to another family in need. In exchange for that toy, Santa will take photos and requests for gifts.

Parades in our area have battled the elements over the years and it’s so awesome that the organizers continue to put on a great show.

We’ve battled rainstorms in recent years and the dreaded Covid-19 got us a couple years ago, but the minor hiccups don’t keep our area leaders from putting smiles on those young faces.

Last year the West Orange-Stark Mustangs and Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears were heading into the fourth round of the playoffs and a lot of their fans, and of course the bands, missed out on the parade functions. That was tough.

As a matter of fact, the WO-S band was performing in the Regional Finals 10 out of the past 12 years during the parade night. However, the beat went on and it will be great for our area to see both bands perform come Saturday night.

Of course, Christmas Parades offer an opportunity for families and friends to gather and celebrate the season, while giving communities a chance to show off the good things they each have to offer.

Orange has had some tremendous parades over the years. I can remember with so much anticipation when I was a young tyke of how exciting the event was and always has been.

The floats, marching bands, dancing schools, homecoming queens and members of local service organizations are usually joined by vehicles representing police and fire departments and other first responders.

The highlight of each parade is the arrival of Santa Claus, which keeps the spirit of the season for children of all ages.

So here is hoping everyone will snatch up their lawn chairs, grab their jackets, snag their little ones and bring a festive smile to two to the wonderful parade events and soak in some Christmas Spirit.

Van Wade is the Orange Leader sports editor. He can be reached at van.wade@orangeleader.com.