The holiday season has officially arrived in Raleigh with the 70th anniversary of the annual WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 22nd. WRAL staffers worked hard to bring a live broadcast of the parade to the homes of thousands of Triangle viewers, while thousands more lined the streets of downtown Raleigh to see the fun in person.
WRAL and MIX 101.5 personalities rode the station floats in parade while WRAL-TV Anchors Renee Chou and Bill Leslie emceed the action from above the street. WRAL-TV Anchor Lynda Loveland conducted on-the-street interviews while crew members from both WRAL and UNC-TV worked side-by-side in the portable control room to keep track of the camera angles for broadcast.
WRAL-TV Director of Local Production Phyllis Parish shared her thoughts on the annual broadcast with capcom:
Everybody loves a parade and our local production team provided excellent coverage of the WRAL-TV Raleigh Christmas Parade! Our engineers and production team are the best! Crew call was 5:30am Saturday morning. It was 22 degrees when our team arrived at the Fayetteville Street production. But everyone was in a jolly mood…the attitude seemed to be, ‘What’s a little cold weather?!’
There’s a great camaraderie during this production. The team knows we’re kicking off the holiday season for our viewers with during our 2-hour, live parade broadcast. Plus, it’s fun bringing all the festive sights and sounds to those watching from home. And speaking of viewers, we had close to 80,000 Saturday morn! We decisively won the time period. Our parade was one of the highest rated programs of the entire broadcast day, including prime time! (7.0 rating/17 share). These winning numbers take a team committed to excellence. I’m proud of every person who worked on this signature WRAL project.
Special shout outs to Producer Randy Mews, Director Mick Evans and Technical Director Keyetta Mangum for leading our talented videographers and audio staff. Our on-air hosts were, as always, spot on. This was Bill Leslie’s twentieth year hosting the Raleigh parade and Renee Chou’s first year! You could tell they were having fun describing the entries, and especially enjoying the bands and big balloons. Lynda Loveland did a superb job as our street side reporter, interacting with parade participants and interviewing parade goers.
Kudos to Shop Local Raleigh and Executive Director, Jennifer Martin, for organizing such a fun, entertaining Order of March. A well-organized, well-paced parade makes our broadcasting job much easier. I’m glad WRAL has a strong partnership with Shop Local Raleigh. Working closely together with them helped us produce one of our very best parade broadcasts!
WRAL.com and social media were also a big part of making the day extra fun.
“Special thanks to our social media team,” said Parish. “We had 895 tweets using the RaleighParade hashtag. Almost 500 of those were retweets, demonstrating users eagerly shared #RaleighParade. We had 363 contributors to the hashtag. This shows we had more than WRAL employees tweeting about the parade. Another interesting fact – over 35% of the tweets had pictures and links. We had encouraged Shop Local Raleigh’s parade participants and parade goers to tweet their pics using #RaleighParade. This is what makes the event come to life on social media and pushes people to WRAL.com for more parade info.”
Enjoy the pictures from the fun holiday event:
Replays of the WRAL Raleigh Christmas Parade will be broadcast Saturdays at 10am during December (excluding Dec. 27) on WRAL2 , plus a special holiday presentation on WRAL-TV at 4pm on Christmas Day.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Phyllis Parish, WRAL-FM’s Vanna Fox, MIX 101.5 & WRAL.com’s Christine Adamczyk for these capcom photos.