1955 Chariot entry – The century-old story of the St. Martinville Chariot Parade will be featured in an exhibit at the Cultural Heritage Center on Market Street during November.(Submitted)
Renewing an old
This Sunday, Nov. 4, St. Martinville’s Creole Farmers Market and the Main Street Association will host the annual Chariot Parade, continuing a unique local tradition that goes back nearly a century.
The popular event will be held in front of St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church with registration opening at 6:30 p.m. and the parade beginning at 7.
An exhibit explaining the tradition and recalling past celebrations of the parade will be featured at the Cultural Heritage Center at 125 S. New Market Street beginning Friday and continuing through the end of November. Included will be photographs from the 1955 parade, past winners and more.
According to legend, a young St. Martinville boy visiting New Orleans in the early 1900s was impressed by the city’s lighted street cars. Upon his return home, he made a cardboard shoe-box replica using candles to illuminate the creation and the tradition of the Chariot Parade was born. It grew into an organized annual event more than 50 years ago.
Trophies will be presented for first, second and third place in four categories: plain box, fancy box, kid made and float. All participants will receive a ribbon. There will be a raffle for a commemorative plate depicting the church and parade, as well as drawings for prizes from local merchants.
Tickets can be purchased from any member of the Creole Farmers Market committee or at the event. Entry to the Cultural Heritage Museum is $3, free for youngsters under 12 with accompanying adult.