New route, same cold for Duluth’s Christmas City parade

Tonight at 6:25 Duluth, Minnesota, hosts the Christmas City of the North Parade, a longstanding tradition of one of the local TV stations, NBC affiliate KBJR-TV (aka Northland’s NewsCenter). Designed to elicit holiday cheer, and excitement for the shopping season, the Christmas City of the North Parade has always been something of a paradox. For one thing, it’s a Christmas parade that happens before Thanksgiving. For another, it’s an outdoor activity involving standing and marching in thin band uniforms at a time of year when the temperatures are almost always below zero.

Tonight, temperatures in Duluth will creep up to almost the freezing mark, but with a stiff breeze. Also this year, the Christmas City of the North Parade has a new route. The parade will begin 10th Ave. E. on Superior Street and proceed directly down the street to 4th Ave. West. This new route will be better lit and is certainly more direct than the old one, which gathered entrants in a dark industrial alley (think, Episode 2 of “Fargo” on FX, where Gus had his famous “There Be Dragons Here” encounter with Malvo) and took them over an interstate overpass.

The cameras will be set up at the Fitger’s Complex, which is also a change from the last several years.

Propagating the controversy that began last year, KBJR anchors will view and comment on the parade from the warm comfort of Northland’s NewsCenter studios in Canal Park, eschewing the longstanding former practice of setting up outside in the cold with the commoners. Will they again dress in parkas and scarves in front of a green screen like last year?

One good thing is that this fricking awesome owl float will be back. Nothing says Christmas in Northern Minnesota like a GIANT ANIMATRONIC OWL!

A grainy, mysterious phot of an owly mysterious parade float in the Christmas City of the North Parade in Duluth, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Duluth Owls Club)

Grainy, mysterious phot of  a mysterious parade float in the Christmas City of the North Parade in Duluth, Minnesota. (PHOTO: Duluth Owls Club)

The weekend also brings the Saturday opening of Bentleyville USA, the spectacular display of holiday lights and music at Bayfront Park. It will be cold there, too. But if you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s the point.


  1. Mike Worcester says

    Not to be overly picky, but “illicit” might not be the best word choice there. Presume you mean “elicit”?

  2. You are correct! Fixed. Many thanks.

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