Here comes Santa Claus! This past weekend marked the 80th Anniversary of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Hollywood Boulevard was treated to more than 130 celebrity and VIP guests, 20 animated characters, 18 live performances, 17 jumbo balloons, 16 bands, 11 floats, and 9 equestrian units… this blog is starting to sound a lot like the Twelve Days of Christmas! Santa was of course the star of the show.
The Hollywood Christmas Parade has been a tradition since 1928 (missing only three years during wartime) and was originally called the Santa Claus Lane Parade. The story goes that American performer Gene Autry, who was the singing cowboy in the parade, was riding his horse down Hollywood Boulevard when he heard a spectator shout out, ‘Here Come’s Santa Claus!’ spurring the song of the same name Here Come’s Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane). And the rest is history.
This year’s parade, which aired nationally on the Hallmark Channel, was led by Marie Osmond who served as The Grand Marshall and hosted by Erik Estrada (World’s Funniest Moments, CHiPs) and Laura McKenzie (World’s Funniest Moments, Laura McKenzie’s Traveler). The parade was sponsored by The City of Los Angeles and Associated Television International, along with community sponsors including 93.1 JACK-FM, Wendy’s, and Galaxy Press, to name a few. The LA Galaxy soccer team kicked off their 2011 World Championship Trophy Cup Tour at the event, with several team players on-hand.
Stars including recording artist La Toya Jackson, author and host Montel Williams, the Jabbawockeez urban dance group, the cast of Disney’s Shake It Up!, and animated stars The Smurfs were among celebrities in attendance helping to ring in the holiday spirit.