Video Archive: Christmas City of the North Parade 1998

Here it is, nearly two hours of KBJR-TV coverage of the Christmas City of the North Parade from 20 years ago — Nov. 20, 1998. It was the first time the parade was routed onto Railroad Street in Canal Park, where KBJR was building its new studio.

See below for an index of parade entries if you want to find your favorite and not watch the whole broadcast. Also below, bonus footage: A portion of the KBJR newscast that preceded the parade. Both videos include most of the local commercials. National commercials were trimmed out, as were local commercials that repeated. 

Fun Facts / Disputed Numbers

  • At some point KBJR lost count of how many Christmas City of the North Parade’s have actually happened. If the 1998 parade was the 39th annual, as the video purports, then the 2018 parade should be the 59th annual. But for some reason this year’s parade is being marketed as the 60th annual. When the Duluth News Tribune’s Andrew Krueger researched the history of the parade in 2008, he determined that year’s parade was the 48th annual, though it was being promoted as the 50th annual. He found archival material promoting the 1975 parade as 15th annual and 1980 parade as 20th annual. So that would make the 1998 parade the 38th annual and the 2018 parade the 58th annual. Does your head hurt yet?
  • In the video, the number of units in the parade is reported as 74. PDD’s index lists 69, but we might have missed something, or some units might not have made the telecast, or maybe a few units didn’t show up.
  • The 1998 parade broadcast was followed by the 3,000th episode of Wheel of Fortune. Coincidentally, Wheel of Fortune was created by Merv Griffin, the man who sang the “Christmas City” parade theme song. In keeping with our theme of disputed numbers, notes that the “ceremonial 3,000th episode” was “actually #2,980.”

Segment Index
0:04:01 Prerecorded clip from tree-lighting ceremony at Minnesota Power Plaza with words by Duluth Mayor Gary Doty
0:26:11 Pre-recorded news package about high school bands and others preparing for parade
0:38:39 Pre-recorded package about the history of the parade

Parade Unit Index
0:04:40 Duluth Fire Department
0:06:23 148th Fighter Wing Honor Guard
0:07:25 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
0:09:26 Duluth East High School Band, Danceline and Cheerleaders
0:11:37 Duluth Mayor Gary Doty and Family
0:12:40 Stacey’s Studio of Dance Education
0:14:25 Great Lakes Aquarium on Wheels
0:15:19 Snowden from Target
0:19:06 Marshall School Band
0:20:23 Minnesota Power
0:21:15 Barbara Reyelts & Family
0:22:03 KTCO Radio
0:22:35 Lakehead Pipeline (Best Commercial Float)
0:24:24 Central High School Band, Danceline and Cheerleaders
0:25:48 Miss Minnesota America Pre-teen (Stacy Lefring?)
0:29:30 Pioneer National Bank
0:30:20 Duluth School Patrol
0:31:40 Wrenshall High School Marching Band
0:33:17 Duluth News Tribune
0:35:17 Joyce Torvund School of Dance
0:43:22 St. Luke’s Hospital
0:44:23 Denfeld High School Band, Cheerleaders and Danceline
0:47:02 Harley-Davidson Sport Center (Best of Show)
0:49:14 Navy Junior ROTC Secondary Tech Center
0:50:17 Hermantown Community Church
0:52:24 Tartan High School Band
0:54:58 Lots for Tots
0:56:00 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon
0:56:50 Proctor High School Marching Band and Cheerleaders
1:00:22 Arco Coffee
1:01:20 Port of Duluth Kiwanis (Mrs. Claus)
1:02:09 Markall’s Majorettes
1:04:54 Duluth Speedskating Club
1:05:32 Miss Floodwood
1:05:55 Northwestern High School Band and Danceline
1:07:24 Maurices (Best Illuminated)
1:08:20 Miss Tower-Soudan
1:08:41 WDSE-TV (Bluether and Razzleberry)
1:08:59 Re/MAX Real Estate
1:09:24 Grantsburg High School Band
1:12:49 Aftenro Home
1:13:29 Salvation Army Operation Rudolph
1:15:28 Iron River Lions Club (with Blueberry Queen)
1:15:56 Dance Escape Dance Studio
1:19:15 Miss Moose Lake (Jessica Warpula)
1:19:44 Arrowhead Chapter of Credit Unions
1:20:10 Twin Ports Bible and Book
1:20:28 Miss Barnum (Julee Burt)
1:20:53 Minnesota Interagency Fire Prevention (Smoky the Bear)
1:21:36 Carlton High School Marching Band
1;23:13 Western Bank
1:25:20 Sterling Silver Baton Studio and One Step Up Dance Academy
1;29:17 Miss Kettle River
1:29:58 Floodwood School Band
1:30:53 Glensheen
1:32:16 Fitger’s (featuring a live marriage proposal)
1:34:37 Miss West Duluth
1:35:07 Hermantown High School Band
1:36:40 Duluth Figure Skating Club
1:38:55 Miller Hill Mall with Santa Claus
1:39:23 Northern Pine Girl Scouts pulled by Halvor Lines
1:39:52 Salvation Army Band
1:40:23 Miss Hoyt Lakes
1:41:00 Pfeifer-Hamilton Publishers
1:41:38 CW Chips
1:41:52 Superior Senior High School Band
1:43:40 Duluth Lions Club
1:45:07 Mother’s Against Drunk Driving
1:45:45 Cub Foods

Commercial Index
0:08:16 Ski Hut
0:08:46 Arco Coffee
0:08:56 Gordy’s Gift and Garden Center
0:16:15 Steak Escape
0:16:46 Minnesota Power
0:17:16 Miller Hill Mall – “Mall Perks”
0:17:46 Operation Rudolph
0:18:17 KBJR News 6
0:28:28 Daugherty’s Hardware & Appliance
0:28:57 KBJR Homework Homepage
0:40:44 Miller Hill Mall – “VIP Visa Card”
0:41:16 Dish Network / S&S Cable Alternative
0:41:45 ICO Conveniece Plus
0:42:15 KBJR Vikings vs. Packers promo
0:51:14 Duluth Downtown Waterfront Specialty Stores
0:51:44 KBJR-TV News 6 at 10
1:03:41 Miller Hill Mall – “Get what you need”
1:04:10 St. Luke’s Hospital
1:10:55 Miller Hill Mall – “Shop here. Get more.” (version one)
1:11:25 KBJR News 6 “In Touch”
1:11:55 United Way of Greater Duluth
1:17:43 St. Luke’s Hospital
1:18:44 News 6 at 10 – McCaughey septuplets
1:24:08 KBJR-TV News 6 – School Closings
1:24:38 KBJR-TV Sports with Tom Hanson
1:31:46 Miller Hill Mall – “Shop here. Get ,more” (version two)
1:44:22 Fitger’s Brewery Complex

1 Comment

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Here's an update on that wedding proposal that occurs at 1:33:10. KBJR-TV caught up with Steven Gerard and Dana Erickson for a story on the newscast before this year's parade.

A Parade Proposal: Cloquet couple celebrates 20 years of Christmas City magic

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