WRAL-TV Brings Christmas Parade to Triangle Viewers

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Santa Claus
Santa Claus comes to town for the 2009 WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade.



The 2009 WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade went off without a hitch.   A crowd of almost 60,000 lined the streets of downtown Raleigh to see a bevy of floats, bands, princesses and more officially bring in the holiday season in the Capitol City.

“Everyone loves a parade!” said WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish, Executive Producer of the Parade coverage.  “And so do we, here at the big 5…the WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade is always a fun project, but it takes a ton of pre-planning before broadcast day.  Producer, Randy Mews, did a super job organizing our production team and communicating with the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, who plans out the parade’s ‘order of march’.“

Carolina Hurricane Glen Wesley served as Grand Marshal of the 65th installment of the Raleigh institution.  WRAL-TV Anchors Bill Leslie & Kelcey Carlson commentated the event, with WRAL-TV Meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner bringing live reports from the street level.

WRAL will air the 2-hour parade broadcast again on WRAL-TV every Saturday in December at 8am; on Dec 5, 12, 19 and 26.  WRAL-TV will also present a special holiday rebroadcast at 4pm on Christmas Day.

Happy Holidays from WRAL-TV!

WRAL-TV anchors wave to the crowd from the float for the Big 5.
MIX Float
Marines join MIX 101.5 personalities on the WRAL-FM float to help promote Toys for Tots.

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WRAL Crew Works Magic To Bring Parade to Viewers
The winds challenged the three giant balloons in this year’s parade, including a large Christmas gift, a snowflake and a frog prince.  WRAL –TV had their own new challenges in production as well.  But give the WRAL engineers and production crew a length of wire, a roll of duct tape and a satellite dish, and they can make MacGyver look like a hack.

Frog Balloon
WRAL-TV turns a frog into a prince with their parade-on-a-budget coverage.

“In order to save thousands of dollars we decided to build our own remote truck this year,” said Parish.  “Our Engineering team did a stellar job building our HD remote truck, literally from the ground up.  Technically, everything worked smoothly Saturday morn.  While our photographers and audio specialists captured great pictures and sound, Bill Leslie, Kelcey Carlson and Elizabeth Gardner did a terrific job describing the parade entries. Director Chris Bolanz calmly worked his magic at the switcher and sent home a clean, very entertaining 2-hour broadcast.  Kudos to everyone involved in this live production!”

WRAL-TV Chief Engineer Pete Sockett said that in all 400 person hours went into the prep and building of the temporary production trailer.  Having the small trailer as compared to the large HD Production Truck made their jobs harder.

“We had to borrow a lot of equipment, pull a lot of equipment out of service here at the station (some of it last minute because it is used every day),” said Sockett.  “Then we also had to build out the trailer.  Fred Kelly gets kudos for a great design.    Also, the production had to be simplified as we had less cameras and id all of the graphics here at the station.”

But WRAL-TV was up to the challenge.  Our number one goal?  Bringing a great product to our viewers.  This year we did it for less, but the spirit of the holidays once again made it into Triangle homes, and to the many folks lining the parade route, thanks to the diligence, hard work and excellence of the many people who make up the Big 5.

“Yet again the guys did a fabulous job, they always pull it off…while I’m never surprised, I am always amazed!!!” said Sockett. 

The many people that made up the WRAL Parade Coverage crew once again showed that WRAL can make magic happen.


2009 WRAL Christmas Parade

WRAL Christmas Parade – Behind the Scenes

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