City News Service

87th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade Takes Over Tinseltown

The 87th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade will make its way through Tinseltown Sunday night, with "Entertainment Tonight" co-host Nancy O'Dell serving as grand marshal.

The parade will travel on a 3.2-mile route beginning at Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, moving east on Hollywood, south on Vine Street and west on Sunset Boulevard back to Orange.

87th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade in Photos

Motorists were advised to avoid the area Saturday night and Sunday, as some streets will be blocked off and parking will be scarce.

The event will begin with a pre-parade concert at 5 p.m. Sunday, featuring performers including Donny and Marie Osmond, Ruben Studdard, The Beach Boys and Ludacris.

The parade itself will step off at 6 p.m., with Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams serving as hosts of the event.

The annual Hollywood Christmas Parade has been a timeless celebration families enjoy in Tinseltown. It’s been a Hollywood tradition since the days of silent pictures. <br><br> Started by a future Los Angeles City Council Supervisor, the Hollywood Christmas Parade showcases Hollywood history, local schools, and TV celebrities (not to mention Saint Nick himself) as it kicks off the gift giving season. After all, the parade was created to attract Christmas shoppers to Hollywood. <br><br> The parade has had an impact in other areas, too. The first year, fir trees were brought in from Big Bear to decorate Hollywood Boulevard. Afterwards, the trees were transplanted onto the grounds of the Hollywood Bowl. It also gave legendary singer-songwriter and actor Gene Autry a hit Christmas song that is still popular today. <br><br> Although it has had some rough sledding, the annual Christmas Parade has rebounded big time in the last 10 years and is once again a popular tradition for families to either attend or watch on TV via a delayed broadcast. <br><br>Join Kelcey Henderson as we look at the pageantry and history of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Produced by Patrick Campbell.

Among the celebrities expected to appear in the procession are Jerry Mathers, Lou Ferrigno, Burt Ward, Stefanie Powers, Miss California USA Kelley Johnson and cast members of the soap operas "General Hospital," "The Bold & The Beautiful," "The Young and the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives."

The parade will also feature famed vehicles from Hollywood, including the Batmobile, a "Magnum P.I." Ferrari, "Back to the Future" DeLoreans, Kitt from "Knight Rider," Herbie the Love Bug, the Bluesmobile from "The Blues Brothers" and the "Scooby Doo" Mystery Machine.

Of course, the parade will conclude with an appearance by Santa Claus.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade was technically first held in 1928, when it was called the "Santa Claus Lane Parade." Comedian Joe E. Brown was the first grand marshal in 1932, a role later filled by luminaries such as Bob Hope, Gene Autry and Jimmy Stewart, among others.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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