The City of Bastrop has had many Christmas traditions throughout the years, and one of the most popular events, the annual Christmas parade, was first held this week on Tuesday, December 2, 1969.
Headed by Parade Chairman Jim Clark, the first parade included many floats and marching bands from the surrounding areas. Parade Marshalls included Maurice Raphael C. L. Pippens, Paul Medley, Steve Harlon, and Gus Peterson. It was led by Miss Merry Christmas, Deborah Delamar, in a fur trimmed red dress along with KTVE personality Clay Scott and the Miss Merry Christmas runners up:
Several animated floats decked with snow princesses, bears, toy soldiers, and more carried children from Bastrop, Bonita, Mer Rouge, Collinston, and Oak Ridge. The parade also included floats by the 4-H Club, Girl Scouts, local churches, and other organizations. Bands from Bastrop High, Morehouse Junior High, Delta, as well as other schools and organizations marched among the floats. The parade ended with an appearance from Santa. Four young girls, Elissa Ann Mitchell, Donna Barham, Liz Jenkins, and Kathy Wilson, rode with Santa to help him pass out candy.
The parade began at the Magnolia Shopping Center, went to the square, and then went through town ending at the Washington Square Shopping Center. Candy was thrown to the children, and the Boy Scouts took up letters to Santa from the crowd.
Today the Parade is still an important Christmas tradition for Bastrop with many organizations, churches, and schools participating. Locals still enjoy lining the streets to see the creative floats and catch goodies thrown by participants. It is one of Bastrop's favorite ways to ring in the Holiday season.