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Christmas City parade marches back into town, with a few changes

The parade route will be similar to past years, starting in front of Fitger's on Superior Street and continuing to Fourth Avenue West.

Christmas City of the North Parade FILE.jpg
Members of Dreamdance Academy dance to "Gingerbread Man" by Yo Yo Yo Kids during the Christmas City of the North Parade in 2015. (File / News Tribune)
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The annual Christmas City of the North Parade will kick off the holiday spirit Friday night in downtown Duluth, and get ready to expect a few new additions this year along with good weather.

“We’re actually looking forward to the weather,” said KBJR-TV Creative Services Director Ben Read. “The weather looks like it’s going to be really good, especially compared to the snowstorm we had in 2016.”

The forecast calls for a high of 33 and a low of 26 with breezy and partly cloudy weather throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth. The parade’s starting time will be 6:30 p.m., being moved back five minutes from years past.

People can anticipate some more changes due to parade responses from past years.

“Santa will be closing the parade,” Read said. “We used to have Santa around the middle of the parade, but we’ve listened to people’s responses and we’re closing out with him now.”


This year’s parade will be dedicated to one of the women who made this event into what people know it as today: former KBJR receptionist and parade coordinator Sharon Wallack.

Wallack worked at the station for 46 years. She retired in 2015 and died in 2018.

“Everyone at the station has their own sweet memory of her,” Read said. “She was a huge part of the parade and set the rules that makes it what it is today.”

The parade will air on KBJR and will be streamed live at kbjr6.com for anyone who can’t attend the parade in person.

This holiday event will re-air on Christmas Day at 11 a.m. on KBJR, “so people who were in it or who missed seeing it the first time will have a chance to watch it,” according to Read.

This will mark the first time the Northland tradition will air more than once.

Parade Details

The parade route will be similar to past years, starting in front of Fitger's on Superior Street and continuing to Fourth Avenue West.

Free Parking

Free parking will be available after 5 p.m. in the following ramps and lots:


  • Fourth Avenue Auto Park, 402 W. Michigan St.

  • Duluth Transportation Center, 228 W. Michigan St.

  • Civic Center Ramp, 410 W. First St.

  • Tech Village Ramp, 10 E. First St.

  • Medical District Ramp, 302 E. First St.

  • Fitger’s, 600 E. Superior St.

  • Phoenix Parking Lot, 98 N. Fourth Ave. W.

  • St. Luke's Hospital Ramp, 1010 E. First St.

  • St. Luke’s Employee Parking Lot, 119 N. 12th Ave. E.

Free parking will also be available in metered spots after 5:30 p.m.

Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” opens Saturday

For more holiday fun this weekend, Bentleyville officially kicks off Saturday at 5 p.m. It’s recommended to get there by 4:30 p.m. to watch as Santa and Mrs. Claus parachute into the event.

Parking is available for $5 at Bentleyville, the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center and the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Shuttles and buses will also be available and will drop visitors off near the Great Lakes Aquarium entrance.

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