Dating as far back as 1959, WRAL has been a part of the Raleigh Christmas Parade. Check out this picture (left) of the WRAL float as it eases down the parade route. Seated up front is Paul Montgomery, better known as “Uncle Paul,” and standing behind him is “Miss Margaret,” host of Romper Room. At the stern of the float is Herb Marks, or as the kids know him, “Captain 5.” That float must have created big smiles to all the kids lining the street of the parade, even though it was a rainy day.
In 1986, instead of the stars of WRAL’s children’s programming riding on the float, WRAL News Anchors took center stage. Charlie Gaddy, Adele Arakawa, Bob Debardelaben, Denece Boyer and Bill Leslie can be spotted onboard (right).
Be sure to watch the 2015 Raleigh Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 21. The WRAL float will cruise down the parade route with David Crabtree, Debra Morgan, Greg Fishel, Elizabeth Gardner, Ken Smith and Gerald Owens. Live coverage of the parade will begin at 10:00 and will be hosted by WRAL-TV morning news anchors Bill Leslie and Renee Chou, with Brian Shrader serving as street-side reporter.
Thanks to Corp’s Pam Allen for this capcom story. Pam Parris Allen is a former WRAL newscast producer/director who now works as a researcher and producer on the CBC History Project.