APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton has put on 50 spectacular Christmas parades over the years and some performers have been there since the beginning.

An Gehrmann, a member of the Appleton City Band said, “I was just out of high school when I was in my first Santa parade and I have not missed any so this is 50 years.”

An said participating in the parade for this long has given her a lifetime of memories.

“We have stories of caps being blown off, music being blown away, marching with snow in our faces and we come away with a smile,” said Gehrmann.

Performers and spectators alike said it is important that everyone get a chance to get together with everything that has happened in the last two years.

Barb Carlson, another Appleton City Band member said, “It’s just still important to get our community together. There have been some very scary things that have been going on. We just need to be a community again.”

Ntuhkem Fonkem, a Fox Valley Technical College student, said this is her first Appleton Christmas Parade since moving to the United States from Cameroon.

“We were all closed in our house for a very long time and I feel like this is a really good opportunity for everybody to come out and still feel like they’re alive and get to do fun stuff like this,” said Fonkem.

The parade featured around 80 groups ranging from bands to dogs to superheroes and even the batmobile.


  • The Appleton Downtown Trophy- Best Commercial
    • Winner: Alliance Industries
  • Christmas Parade Trophy- Best non-commercial
    • Winner: Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley
  • Bernie Pearlman Memorial Trophy- “through the eyes of a child”
    • Winner: MCC, Inc.