Spirit of Unity: annual parade on deck

Members of the Hibbing High School Marching Band march in the annual Spirit of Unity holiday parade in Hibbing.

The Hibbing High School Student Council is on a special mission straight out of the North Pole: to help instill the spirit of the season throughout the City of Hibbing. It’s a mission they’ve taken seriously for decades and a tradition that will continue again this year. The annual Spirit of Unity Parade is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, in downtown Hibbing.

HHS Student Council Co-Advisor Carrie Fawkes said that there’s still time for area organizations to join in the fun. “I’ll take entries up until this Friday,” Fawkes said. “There are no entry fees.”

To sign up, call Fawkes at Hibbing High School, 218-208-0841, extension 11011.

Fawkes said that at least 20 organizations plan to participate in Monday’s parade, including faithful participants, such as Midwest Communications, students and parents from the Assumption Catholic School, as well as Greenhaven and Washington Elementary Schools. The HHS Marching Band, Choir and Student Council will also be there to ring in holiday cheer. “We have four new entries this year,” Fawkes teased. “And, of course, Hibbing Community College has communicated with Santa. He has cleared his busy schedule to be with us again this year.”

According to HHS Student Council Publicist Claire Furlong, the word in the North Pole is that the Hibbing kids are being exceptionally good this year.

Monday’s forecast calls for balmy weather that should be just above freezing. The parade is set to follow the same route it has for the past several years — starting in front of HHS and heading west on 23rd Street and turning right on First Avenue. The parade will turn right again and proceed down Howard Street where it will make its final turn on to Ninth Avenue East and end back at HHS.

If the weather is too frightful for some, Hibbing Public Access Television (HPAT) will be doing a live stream and broadcast. Mediacom Cable subscribers can tune into channel 2 in Hibbing, or viewers can visit hpat.org. On-air personalities Mary and Joe Keyes will be providing the parade commentary.

Fawkes said that as far as she can tell, the parade originated with the HHS Student Council in 1987 and has been a community favorite ever since. “We couldn’t put on the parade without the help of the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce, the City of Hibbing and the wonderful support of the Kiwanis volunteers,” Fawkes said. She continued, “The Spirit of Unity Parade is a wonderful tradition that HHS Student Council is proud to be a part of. We appreciate everyone who comes out in the chilly weather.”

Furlong is also looking forward to the event. “The parade is a really fun way to get community members together,” she said. “It brings attention to Hibbing and the downtown area, which is great. I think it really gets everyone in the holiday spirit, too,” she added.

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