Traditions Continue With The Santa Parade

On Friday, November 25, 2022, the Screaming Demons Marching Band participated in the Santa Parade at Kirkwood Mall.


Marching Band Banner. The Screaming Demons march in different events with this banner. The banner has been used in the Santa Parade every year since it started. “This has been a tradition for many years and people love coming and listening,” BHS sophomore Zeva Burkhardsmeier said.

After many years of a tradition, the BHS band is still expected to march in the Santa Parade this year. 

The BHS band is the only highschool band that participates in the “Black Friday Santa Parade,” every year that takes place at the Kirkwood Mall. 

“Well, I think when the Santa Parade started we were the only high school in town.” BHS band teacher Neil Tafelmeyer said. “I also think the reason we keep coming back is because of our marching style, our sense of fun, and our mission statement.” 

The tradition of the Santa Parade started shortly after the Kirkwood Mall was opened.

“It started after the Kirkwood Mall was opened in 1970,” Tafelmeyer said.

The BHS band plays Christmas Carols on Parade and the Bismarck High School song.

“We’ve been playing the Christmas Carols on Parade and the Bismarck High School song for 15 years or longer,” Tafelmeyer said. “And it’s so cool to have alumni come back because we’re doing the same tune and it comes back to them.”

The BHS band kids feel like they are impacting the community in a small but positive way.

“I do feel like we are serving our community and bringing people together and it is fun to play the school song and have everyone singing and clapping,” BHS sophomore Rita Wisespirit said.

The impact of the Santa parade is felt through those who are marching and those who are watching.

“I’ll run errands after the parade and like I’ll go to Target and just the amount of people that say thank you for having your band kids march in the parade and how much fun it was,” Tafelmeyer said. “That’s worth getting up in the morning for.”

BHS Band Mission Statement. BHS band students look up to this mission statement to “continually strive for excellence while serving your community around us”. The mission statement correlates with the Santa Parade and is used as a reference for inspiration. “This is serving the community,” BHS band teacher Neil Tafelmeyer said.

Lines of people gather at the Kirkwood Mall to watch the parade and see Santa.

“I’d say at least 500 people show up to the parade,” Tafelmeyer said.

The BHS band mission statement correlates with the Santa Parade. “Continually Strive for excellence while serving the community around us” is the BHS band mission statement. 

“This serves the community.” Tafelmeyer said. “This is stepping outside of our comfort zones and waking up on a Friday during break, getting our uniforms on and doing something for the community.”

Each band kid has their own favorite part of the parade.

“I think my favorite part is being able to dress up for Christmas and decorating our instruments,” BHS sophomore Zeva Burkhardsmeier said.

The Santa Parade always has a good amount of BHS band kids participating even though it’s not required.

“I am always a little nervous about if we’ll have enough kids to show up because it’s a holiday,” Tafelmeyer said. “But, we usually get the right people to show up and the right parts are covered.”

The annual Santa parade takes place on Black Friday which makes the mall busy. 

“There is an amazing turnout.” Burkhardsmeier said. “Last year, there was no room left in the mall.”