GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of people had a jolly, good time in Gautier Saturday and caught a few Christmas goodies. The annual Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Gautier Rotary Club, rolled through the heart of the city.
Smiling faces of all ages lined the streets of downtown Gautier to kick off the Christmas season at the annual parade.
"It used to be part of the city, and the rotary club decided it would help out and take over and that is what we done," organizer David Thompson said.
"Everybody expects it. It gets them in the Christmas spirit, and we have only 19 days left to Christmas," Sandra Walters said.
Nearly 40 groups, including the Gautier High band, city leaders and local businesses, marched down Highway 90, spreading cheer and giving away a lot of parade throws.
"We get the beads," a young parade goer said.
Councilwoman Mary Martin was this year's Grand Marshal. Martin said she loves holiday events, because they bring families together.
"It is a very happy time for everyone. The world we live in now has a lot of chaos going on, and I think this just opens up for happiness for everyone," said Martin.
Many of the parade goers said they couldn't agree more. In fact, they said every year, the parade keeps getting better and better.
"It is fun and exciting, and we get to see Santa Claus," Stephanie Long said.
Yes, jolly Old St. Nick made his way from the North Pole to Gautier just in time to end Saturday's parade in style and wish kids a Merry Christmas.
"It made it all worthwhile," an onlooker said.
This is the 17th year the Gautier Rotary Club has hosted this parade for the city.