Thousands gather for Christmas City of the North Parade

[anvplayer video=”5072455″ station=”998130″]

Thousands gathered for the Christmas City of the North Parade on Friday night.

“It’s a Northern Minnesota thing,” said attendee Joel Heller. “You know Christmas and the holidays are around the corner when Christmas City comes.”

“I usually come here to support all the people and the dancers,” said 14-year-old Alexandria. “I like when they dance, but I also feel bad for them dancing in the cold.”

Joel Heller has been attending the parade for years, but this year is extra special.

“My baby’s marching in the parade for the first time,” Heller explained. “Normally, we watch it, but as a freshman in the Marshall band, this year they voted and decided that they’re gonna be marching in the parade. I’m all excited.”

For the Hellers, this is more than just a parade.

“This whole parade has sentimental value to our whole family,” said Heller. “It’s where my mom met my dad and had their first date.”

“Our first date, I went on a bet,” Corky Heller reminisced. “53 years ago, this is where we came. To the Christmas City of the North Parade.”

Corky Heller won a five dollar bet to go on that date in high school, but it was worth so much more.

“53 years later, I’m still with the same guy,” said Corky Heller. “He’s still back in Arizona. I came here for the Christmas City of the North Parade to bring back memories.”