Whatever extreme conditions Duluth has waiting this winter, they held off during Friday's parade.
Despite the historic precedent for erratic weather that brings out the "stubborn" in stubborn Duluth during the Christmas City of the North Parade, the seasonal event was graced with a calm wind and the occasional picture-perfect snowflake.
Moving with the wind down Superior Street was an amalgamation of parade floats, marching bands and of course, the Christmas icon Santa Claus himself. Chilled at a cool 24 degrees, the 60th Christmas city parade is the inaugural tradition to kick off the holidays and winter in the Northland.
"It feels like the beginning of the season when the parade comes," said Helen Wells.
Floats celebrating every part of the community passed by Fitger's Brewery complex. From Frost River getting the word out about what's new in Lincoln park, Stacie Juten's Duluth Dance Center showing off their 100 prancing prodigies to even the Superior Fuel Company carrying a large fuel tank dressed up like a pig, no part of the Northland was left unrepresented.
Leading the way as Grand Marshall of the parade was the U.S. Olympic Curling team, wearing the gold medal at last year's Winter Olympics. Following close behind were the U.S. Coast Guard and the 148th Fighter Wing National Guard.
Lined behind them was an array of floats that lit up the sky, with lights shining and blinking reds, whites, yellows, green and every other kind of seasonal shade. However, it may have been the hundreds of kids that stole the show.
Whether it was elf onesies, pirate costumes or a lowly Grinch, no drop in temperature could temper the happy smiles and waving hands of parade-goers eager to show off their lights. Not to be outdone, were several dozen santas and angels wearing shoes flashing christmas lights.
Area schools like Denfeld High School, Northwestern High School, Two Harbors High School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth had their marching bands, cheerleaders and baton twirling in the mix as well.
People visiting the parade haven't always been so lucky. In 2008, temperatures dipped into the low teens, while in 2016 heavy snow blanketed visitors.