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National News / Entertainment

Saturday, 20 December, 2014 12:57 PM

Soggy Hollywood Christmas Parade to air this weekend in L.A., Detroit

Watch for the parade on KTLA Ch. 5 in Los Angeles and WADL Ch. 38 in Detroit


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, his wife Amy Wakeland and his daughter, Maya, ride aboard a classic car in the 83rd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.


by Jason Rzucidlo



HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- There was lots of rain during the Nov. 30 taping of the 83rd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Fans waited for several hours getting soaked to see more than 125 celebrities who participated in this year's parade. The red carpet looked more like the Mississippi River than a place to do interviews. In fact, the red carpet got so wet that celebrities had to be moved inside a parking garage to continue the remainder of the interviews. However, it was still a great night that everyone enjoyed.

Detroit's own Stevie Wonder was this year's grand marshal. He was scheduled to perform a couple of songs, but that never happened due to the rain. All concerts were canceled so he rode on a classic car in the parade instead.

"It is bigger and better and more fun," said Erik Estrada, who returned as host of the parade telecast. "I wish I had a pair of dry shoes right now. I'm standing right here on this red carpet, but it's a mud carpet right now. We need the rain. California needs the rain. All of the farmers need the rain. We will live with it."

His co-host, Laura McKenzie, added: "People might need a few umbrellas, but we got clear ones so people can see. We're going to relax a little bit. We've been working on the parade. I'm the godmother to his daughter. We have Christmas dinner together. My wish list I always ask for health because then I can go for another year."

Hollywood rolled out the largest Parade Red Carpet in the world to usher in the beginning of the holiday season with all the requisite glitz, glamour and spectacle. The treasured Southland and American tradition made its way down the famed Hollywood Boulevard for it’s 3.2 mile trek along the parade route. The parade was presented by Associated Television International and The City of Los Angeles, and benefitted the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

"I think it's a huge deal for us to be here because its the 83rd one," said actress Rowan Blanchard, who plays Riley on Disney Channel's Girl Meets World. "We're really excited. It's our first time coming. We just started our second season, we're on episode three. Danielle and Ben have become parents to us. They're incredible people. We love them. I can assure you that you can be very pleased with who's coming back. There are some little plug-ins from Boy Meets World fans."

This year's Hollywood Christmas Parade featured more than 125 celebritiers including 27 cast members from Days of Our Lives, the cast of Major Crimes on TNT, five cast members from The Young and the Restless, winners from So You Think You Can Dance, cast members from The Bold and the Beautiful, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), cast members from Girl Meets World, cast members from Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor, Tommy Flanagan and Mark Boone Jr. from Sons of Anarcy, cast members of ABC's Black-ish, Erika Christensen from Parenthood, cast members of Liv & Maddie, American rock icon Richie Sambora and of course, Santa Claus.

"I love this parade, I've done this parade for years," said actress Kate Linder, who plays Esther on The Young and the Restless. "I love that it will air all throughout the season. It says for me this is the start of the holidays. Rain or shine as you can see it goes on. I've been in this parade when it's been raining before. Never quite this bad. Rain is good luck in some cultures. We need the water here. It gives back for Toys for Tots and that's great. In April it was my 33rd anniversary and I love it. It's been No. 1 for 27 years without missing a week and I'm very proud to be there."

Three floats were a part of this year's parade: The Way To Happiness, Miss Hispanidad and the Santa Claus float. In addition, the Goodyear blimp made a special appearance during the annual event.

"It's really cool, we've been out here for four hours," said attendee Carissa Miranda from Ontario, Calif. "One of the bands from Georgia was really good. Stevie Wonder was my favorite celebrity. I noticed the Disney Channel characters, so I don't know any of them. We got here at 2:30-ish. We've been waiting for a while so it's a good spot."

Seventeen Bands from around the United States, including two from out of the country, one from China and another from Mexico, participated in the parade. Of those, the Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band, Marine Corp Air Station Miramar (San Diego, CA); Grissom High School Wildcat Marching Band (Huntsville, AL); PAVA World Traditional Korean Band (Los Angeles, CA), Lee’s Summit North Bronco Marching Band (Lee’s Summit, MO); Los Angeles Police Emerald Society Pipes and Drums (Fullerton, CA); Slinger High School Band (Slinger, WI); Lakota East Marching Thunderhawks (Liberty Township, OH); Pope High School Marching Band (Marietta, GA); Morgan County High School “Bulldog” Marching Band (Madison, GA); The Pride of Desoto Central Marching Band (Southhaven, MS), Los Angeles Catholic Schools Band (Torrance, CA); Korean American Youth Performing Artists (KAYPA) (Chino, CA); Ramona Dynasty Band and Color Guard (Riverside, CA); The Art Troupe From China (China); Woodland High School Wildcat Marching Band (Cartersville, GA); Buhos Marching Band (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) and Long Beach Junior Concert Band (Long Beach, CA).

"Everything is very beautiful," said Gabriela Ribeiro, who travelled all the way from Brasilia, Brazil. "All of the high schools are doing great. I love the Grinch, Fred from Flintstones. Yes, I like the kids from Disney Channel, Liv and Maddie. I love Los Angeles!"

Thirteen larger-than-life balloons soared high over Hollywood Boulevard. Those featured were The Nutcracker, Cat in the Hat , Giggles The Elf, Gingerbread Boy, Fred Flintstone, The Grinch , Pirate/Chest , Scooby Doo, Ghost Army Tank, Yogi Bear, Tazmanian Devil, Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba!, and the Toy Soldier.

"This is my second time," said Lupe Renteria, an attendee from Rowland Heights, Calif. "I like watching everybody, Stevie Wonder, Oscar De La Hoya. I love the music from the marching bands. We got here at 4 o'clock. It finally dried up. We got soaking wet, but it was well worth it."

Attendee Ellie Valdez from Long Beach, Calif. added: "I come every year and I do the parades in Long Beach. I like the balloons and the bands and everything. I like Yogi and the Cat in the Hat. They're all cool. Stevie Wonder was my favorite celebrity. We missed the concert because of the rain. The rain was really coming down hard. We stuck it out. Everybody did."

Six equestrian units were featured in the parade, including: Wells Fargo Stagecoach, Majestic Acres/Shadow Kindred, Charros De La Puente, Knott’s Berry Farm Stage Coach, Merced County Sheriff Posse and The Budweiser Clydesdales.

Look for the parade to air this weekend in syndication on 375 TV stations--including the markets of Los Angeles and Detroit. It will air on KTLA Ch. 5 on Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. and on Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. In addition, it will be shown on WADL Ch. 38 on Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. in the Motor City.

For more information about the Hollywood Christmas Parade, visit

Related Stories: Stevie Wonder To Serve As Grand Marshal of the 83rd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade Benefiting Marine Toys For Tots Foundation; 81st Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade wows crowds; will premiere on Hallmark Channel Dec. 10




2014 Parade Grand Marshal Stevie Wonder



The Pope High School marching band from Marietta, Georgia



Retired boxer Oscar De La Hoya



The Way to Happiness float with Cri-Ci and Erika Christensen ("Parenthood")



Blues/rock musican George Thorogood


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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.