We continue to bring you short clips from the film collections of MDAH (see also the Key Brothers aviation film footage). Special thanks to Derrick Cole, webmaster, and Celia Tisdale, audiovisual curator, for their assistance in preparing the film for the blog.
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This short film clip from the B. F. Jackson Film collection1 depicts a Christmas parade in Cleveland from approximately the late 1950s. Ruleville native B. F. Jackson was an amateur film maker and owner of several movie theaters in the Mississippi Delta. Eight of his films were donated to MDAH in 2002 and the reel containing the Christmas parade film was conserved in 2005 with a National Film Preservation grant. This film may be viewed in its entirety in the MDAH Media Room, along with other MDAH film collections.
While we do not know the exact date of this parade, the following article from The Bolivar Commercial describes the annual parade of 1950:
Cleveland’s annual Christmas Parade and fireworks display on Tuesday, December 12, witnessed by approximately 5,000 people, was judged one of the most beautiful ever held in Cleveland. The float presented by Kamien’s Department Store was judged the most beautiful of 21 gloats entered by Cleveland business houses and organizations. The Shelby Rotary Club float received 2nd place, and the Business & Professional Women’s Club 3rd place in the judging. The following received honorable mention: (1) West Implement Company, (2) V. F. W. and V. F. W. Auxiliary, and (3) Cleveland Colored School.
The bands from Shelby, Benoit, Cleveland High School and the Cleveland Colored School thrilled the spectators as the beautiful floats passed along the parade route. The fireworks display held after the parade was witnessed by the largest crowd ever to see a fireworks display in Cleveland.2
1 Reel 2, MP 2002.03: B. F. Jackson Film collection (accretion), MDAH.
2 “Huge Crowd Witnesses Annual Christmas Parade; Kamien’s Float Judged Most Beautiful,” The Bolivar Commercial, December 15, 1950. MDAH microfilm roll 20397.