A parade that started in 1958 as a way to get people in the mood for early Christmas shopping, has evolved into an annual holiday tradition.
“For years it was probably just another event, but a very unusual event that celebrated the cold and celebrated the climate here and the hearty nature of the people who grew up here,” said KBJR station manager, David Jensch.
Every year, roughly 12,000 people check out the parade in person. Anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 people watch from the comfort of their home. And for KBJR 6 station manager, David Jensch, the parade is much more than just a gathering.
“KBJR looks at the parade as a public service as a way to give back to the people of the Northland,” said Jensch.
This year, Chisholm-native and Olympic curling gold medalist, John Shuster along with his team will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Christmas City of the North Parade.
“Obviously its a huge honor because it’s a big deal for the city of Duluth every single year,” said Shuster.
Team Shuster is the first American team to ever win gold in curling.
“To fulfill a lifelong dream like that it’s been incredible,” said Shuster.
Shuster said they want to use the parade as an opportunity to be more involved in the community.
“There’s still a lot of people who haven’t seen us since we won our gold medals. So getting a chance to ride in a parade and see those people. We did a couple parades in the summer like in my hometown and our home areas, so it’ll be a lot of fun,” said Shuster.
A parade, celebrated whether rain or shine or snow, keeping the tradition alive for not only Shuster but Northlanders alike.
“I think I’ve been in the parade one time, and I think I went to it one other time. I think it’s gonna start becoming more of a tradition now that my kids are starting to get a little older and understand what’s going on,” said Shuster.