WPXI cancels annual Pittsburgh holiday parade

After 39 years of marching down Pittsburgh streets, the annual holiday parade has been canceled.

WPXI-TV, which produced the parade, announced the news Sept. 8. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the pandemic, but WPXI ran a 40th anniversary special.

First organized by Kaufmann’s Department Store, the parade began in 1980. It was known as the “Celebrate the Season” parade until Kaufmann’s folded into Macy’s. The parade then became known as the My Macy’s Holiday Parade.

When Macy’s closed the longtime Downtown Kaufmann’s store, they ended their sponsorship of the parade. WPXI worked with sponsors, including Pittsburgh Public Schools and Neighborhood Ford Stores.

Over the years, the parade hosted several celebrities, including Alex Trebek, a number of NBC stars, Steelers players and, of course, hundreds of high school bands.

The WPXI post alluded to the possibility of a return in the future. A Christmas miracle, perhaps?

I have fond memories of watching the parade on TV. Growing up, I recall decorating trees with my grandma and later with my mom while the parade was on.

And, believe it or not, I’d never been to the parade in person!

There was always something about watching it on TV with David Johnson and Peggy Finnegan co-hosting. And, of course, David Johnson’s Yogi Bear impersonation.

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