Christmas City of the North charade

Christmas Sham of the North

Northland’s NewsCenter anchors Michelle Lee, Kevin Jacobson and Barbara Reyelts wear parkas inside the studio to call the annual Christmas City of the North Parade. PHOTO: Tony Hart via Mix 108, which broke this story

Last Friday night brought the annual frozen spectacle of the Christmas City of the North Parade in downtown Duluth, Minnesota.

What’s to say about the Christmas City of the North Parade? It’s a holiday parade with floats and high school bands from throughout the region. What makes it different? Special? Nothing, except for one thing. IT IS ALWAYS COLD!

I have never been colder than the times I marched in the Christmas City of the North Parade with the Cherry High School marching band in the mid- to late-1990s. It’s not that it’s the coldest time of year. It’s that it’s merely a very cold time of year and you are wearing band uniforms designed for places like Texas. 

Throughout high school I kept the chemical hand-warming pouches in my trumpet case from each year’s parade, talismans of survival and grit. I think one of them is still in there, in the case, downstairs, waiting for me to tell the tale to one of my sons should he choose to play trumpet someday. It’s a miserable parade. My trumpet always froze so that I could only play notes in the open position, like a bugle. (This is how you play “Taps,” by the way).

Anyway, KBJR Channel 6 (Duluth’s NBC affiliate), now known as the Northland’s NewsCenter after absorbing the CBS affiliate, has always carried the Christmas City of the North parade live on television. And, until this year, the anchors were always out on the parade route freezing with everyone else.

This year, Mix 108 radio noticed something. The anchors weren’t outside. They covered the parade from the studio in front of a green screen. Only, they wore parkas as though they were outside.

I believe my choice of italics tells you what I think about this.


  1. Glad someone else noticed this as well. I’m starting to think that they must have a new green screen setup since they seemingly use it for EVERYTHING now including live in-studio interviews. So instead of sitting on a bland couch on a raised stage, now interviews are held on chairs in a green-screen universe that only viewers can actually see.

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