What better way to start the holiday season off than by attending the Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade? This year is the 75th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade scheduled for Sunday November the 26th at 5:00 pm.
This year proves to be a spectacular year while celebrating the 7th anniversary. Expect to join as many as 100 celebrities in this star-studded event as well as the most famous person, Santa Clause as he travels the Hollywood Christmas Parade in his sleigh.
The first Hollywood Christmas Parade was held in 1928. The only two participants at that time were Santa Claus and Jeanette Loff, actress. Initially the Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of the parade to attract shoppers to the Hollywood Boulevard and its’ many businesses during the busy holiday season. This quickly became a tradition. Eventually live reindeer were added pulling Santa and Ms. Loff down Hollywood Boulevard.
As the years went on the parade became more modern replacing the reindeer, with a truck pulled float, to an elaborate display including flying reindeer and a snow village. Eventually the participants in the parade grew including, Grand Marshals such as Comedian Joe E. Brown, Bette Davis, Mary Pickford, and Gene Autry and his horse Champion. The song “Here Comes Santa Claus,” was inspired by his participation in the parade. To this day every year a different celebrity flips the switch to light the Christmas tree officially dubbing it the beginning of the Holiday Season. Having changed since its’ initial inception, the parade currently travels 3.5 miles and includes Sunset Boulevard.
This is a free event for spectators. Those who prefer grandstand seating may acquire such by paying $40 per adult and $35 per child for children ages 12 years and under. This seating is located on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange. If interested in special seating call 714-670-0186.
Another popular event is The Annual Los Angeles DWP Holiday Light Festival located at the infamous Griffith Park. This event encompasses one mile of beautiful Christmas lighting displays on Crystal Springs Drive in Griffith Park. Expect to see beautiful lighted replicas of the Hollywood Bowl, the Staples Center, the Venice Boardwalk and even the Hollywood Sign in Christmas lights.
Christmas at The Grove is incredible! The Grove at Farmers Market is located at 189 The Grove Drive in Los Angeles. This is a sight where Angelinos and tourists come to shop, enjoy concerts, and hang out. At Christmas it is even more fun. The town square is lit up with over 200,00 Christmas lights covering a 100-foot Christmas tree every year. The trolley that used to transport shoppers between The Grove and Farmers Market is decorated as well as all of the lovely shops. Santa is awaiting little children in his cottage at the center of the mall to hear their Christmas requests and give out candy.
Another neat event in Los Angeles county is Naples Island in Long Beach. Fashioned after old Venice, Italy this community goes to great length to decorate their homes during the holiday season. In addition to enjoying the annual boat parade, feel free to stroll along the canals to view the beautifully lit homes. To make the tour very authentic through the canal, there are also gondoliers that provide rides along the canal during the holidays. So not only do you get to enjoy the holidays while traveling down the canal, you can even imagine you are in Italy as the gondoliers provide snacks of salami, cheese and fresh French bread as a courtesy.
If you ever been to Los Angeles and visited the Long Beach area you may have noticed the Queen Mary in port. She is a beautiful vessel to tour but a Christmas she comes to magic as the holidays comes to love in old world charm aboard The Queen Mary. Every year on board the Sun deck is a beautiful Christmas tree decorated and lit up for all to enjoy. If you ever wanted to enjoy a child’s fantasy at Christmas this is truly the place to be. Every year the pastry chef creates a beautiful gingerbread replica of a Christmas village with little homes, a chapel, a working train and lights. Edible yes – but it is only to view on display throughout the season. This is a must stop is you are in the area and definitely worth the time. There is a lot to see in Long Beach and at Christmas the Pier is beautiful, but The Queen Mary is – The Queen. Trust me, she stands out.