Hollywood Christmas Parade a showstopper

first_imgTens of thousands of revelers braved the chilly night air Sunday to watch Tinseltown sparkle with stars and holiday cheer at the 75th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. : 11/26: Hollywood Christmas Parade Along palm-lined streets on Hollywood and Sunset boulevards, spectators wrapped in scarves and thick jackets waved on dozens of floats, marching bands and antique cars carrying stars like actor Edward James Olmos, “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Joey Lawrence and comedian George Lopez, this year’s grand marshal. As only Hollywood could deliver, the floats were elaborate and ranged from a giant, eight-spoked Buddhist dharma wheel from the Chinese spiritual group Falun Gong to a blue and yellow light bulb studded entry from Best Buy. “This parade is great,” said Regis Philbin, the honorary grand marshal, who said he remembered attending the Christmas parade back when he was a stagehand at a nearby television station. “It ushers in the Christmas season.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Crowds lined the parade route, at times five or six people deep, with children sitting on the shoulders of parents and relatives and others craning their necks to get a glimpse of miniature ponies, up-and-coming celebrities and even their own relatives. “This is a nice family event,” said Heath Hardy, sitting along Hollywood Boulevard with his wife and four children and a video camera to capture his 11-year-old daughter who marched in one of the bands. His daughter Sharhonda laughed and danced as Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop `Til You Get Enough” blared from a float. Some of the night’s biggest attractions were the celebrities, from grand marshal Lopez to wrestler Hulk Hogan. “My favorite is George Lopez,” declared Kevin Polanco, a 7-year-old who sipped hot chocolate. A favorite, Lopez had children giggling and adults cheering as he challenged onlookers on opposite sides of the parade route to cheer louder than the other side. “With everything that goes on in this world, it’s the one thing that we can just all come to and get along,” said Carlos Salazar, a 35-year-old electrician who came with his two children and wife. “In Los Angeles there are some areas that are pretty rough and here people come from all parts of Los Angeles and everyone is just having a good time.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, last year’s grand marshal, said he fondly remembered attending the parade as a child with his mother and aunt. “This has always been a very special parade. It’s a great way to start the holidays,” Villaraigosa said. With Thanksgiving behind and the holidays ahead, everyone along the parade route – from Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton to a man selling $5 Santa hats – said they had a special holiday wish. Bratton said one day without crime would suit him and the hat seller Steve Hart said he’d be content with an Aston Martin DB9. Some wishes were a lot simpler. “I wish I could just see my mom,” said Aminta Polanco, a 40-year-old Honduran immigrant from Canoga Park, whose work visa has not allowed her to return home for more than a decade. “But this gives Christmas to the children.” [email protected] (818)713-3741 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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