MAPLE HEIGHTS, Ohio - The Southgate USA Christmas parade was among northeast Ohio’s biggest parades and it attracted local as well as national celebrities as its grand marshals.
Over the years, WEWS personalities Wilma Smith, Dave Patterson, Lou Maglio, Mark Koontz and Terry Moir were the local names hosting the event. TV actor and Southgate commercial star Ted Knight, TV’s Ted Baxter and “Caddyshack’s” Judge Smails, also led the parade.
There were also people in the parades that ended up being huge stars, Halle Berry was one of those people.
The shot of Berry in the 1985 goes by so quickly, you barely have time to see the Miss Teen All-American riding in a convertible and waving. She can be seen at the two minute mark of the video.
Here’s a quick synopsis of the video of some ten years or so of Southgate parades:
We begin with marching bands and Santa in 1975 and includes a quick shot of two men dressed as the Easter Bunny and Mickey Mouse which looks as if could have been straight out of the Public Square Christmas parade scene for the movie "A Christmas Story."
Our live truck, the Action Cam, was a featured vehicle in the parade year after year and was followed by TV5 anchor Dave Patterson driving a Corvette - nice wheels Dave.
After the Maple Heights marching band, our Wilma Smith is seen riding on a float and waving to the crowd.
In the video, storefronts of some of Cleveland’s retailers, who are no longer in business like Hough Bakeries, can be seen.
Just after the Chanel marching band, Lou Maglio, “Morning Exchange” co-host and producer Terry Moir ride atop a red convertible.
After aerials of the parade, WEWS weatherman Mark Koontz pops out of Chopper 5.
Koontz did weather at WEWS in the 70s and very early 80s before a long stint at WJW and now at WFMJ in Youngstown.
The kids seem more interested in mugging for the camera than meeting Koontz. Koontz doesn’t get a car for a parade ride but rather a golf cart.
A Christmas golf cart?
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