Hollywood Christmas Parade kicks off holiday season

Wave Wire Services

HOLLYWOOD — The 90th edition of the Hollywood Christmas Parade moved through the streets of Hollywood Nov. 28, signaling the start of the holiday season.

Actor Danny Trejo served as grand marshal of the parade.

Thousands of spectators lined the 3.2-mile, U-shaped route to watch some 90 celebrities and VIPs — along with 10 four-story-high character balloons, 14 musical or dance acts, a dozen marching bands, four floats, including a new “Dinosaurs in the Valley”-themed float, and some 50 movie and novelty cars.

As usual, Santa Claus and his reindeers appeared at the end of the parade.

Local marching bands taking part in the parade included the Pasadena Unified School Band; the PAVA World Traditional Korean Band of Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles Catholic Schools Band of Torrance, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps Band, based in San Diego.

Among the cartoon character balloons were a 45-foot Betty Boop, a 40-foot Toy Solider and a 35-foot Mighty Mouse, along with a giant gingerbread man, candy cane and various outsized holiday ornaments.

Among the celebrities were actor Tom Arnold, vintage TV stars Butch Patrick (“The Munsters”) and Jerry Mathers (“Leave It To Beaver”), recently retired Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrín and Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members Mitch O’Farrell and Heather Hutt.

The parade has been held every year since 1928, except from 1942 to 1944 due to World War II, and in 2020, when it was canceled because of the pandemic.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade was 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 such luminaries as Bob Hope, Gene Autry, Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne.

The parade was taped for a two-hour special to air Dec. 16 on the CW network from 8 to 10 p.m., hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams, with Elizabeth Stanton serving as special co-host.

The parade also will be telecast internationally on the American Forces Network during the holiday season.

The parade’s aim is also to call attention to the Marine Toys for Tots program, which is marking its 75th year. The program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children each year.