Having grown up in the Northland, Christmas City of the North Parade has been a holiday tradition since I can remember.  We'd gather around the TV and watch the parade go through Duluth.  That was back when I considered Duluth a "big city" and would love to drive through downtown at night so I could see all the lights as a kid.  You might laugh, but as a kid growing up in Biwabik MN, Duluth was a huge, charming city.  Few times of the year showcase Duluth in such a way as the parade.

One year in particular comes to mind.  It must have been about 1993.  I was staying over at my Dad's house in Lakeside.  He had just bought this old Victorian style fixer upper and it was the first night we were going to spend in it.  Just like a typical first night moving in there were boxes scattered throughout the house, and the tv sitting on top of a box.  Cable wasn't hooked up yet, so we had bunny ears on top of the tv with a grainy picture of KBJR's coverage of the parade.

We ordered Sammy's pizza. (I swear we had that every weekend I spent with my dad.)  And we sat on the floor eating Sammy's pizza watching the parade.

Except for one thing.  We had tried using the fireplace for the first time.  While munching on pizza, watching the parade, smoke started billowing into the house.  IT WASN'T GOING UP THE CHIMNEY!  Soon the entire house filled with smoke as we tried to put the fire out.  The rest of the night, we ate smokey pizza, with burning eyes, watching an already grainy TV reception through smoke.

And somehow, that' my favorite memory of the Christmas City of the North Parade.

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