Best Christmas Parades in Los Angeles

christmas parades los angeles

Festive Christmas Parades in LA

When it comes to celebrating the holiday season in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Christmas Parade is a must-see. This parade, with a history spanning over nine decades, has become a beloved tradition. Picture this: floats, balloons, bands, equestrians, and celebrities all parading through the streets. It kicks off at Hollywood and Orange, winding up at Sunset and Orange. It’s a joyful spectacle that captures the spirit of Christmas right in the heart of Hollywood.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade, originally called the Hollywood Santa Parade and Santa Claus Lane Parade, started back in 1928. Hollywood merchants turned a one-mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard into “Santa Claus Lane” to boost shopping. The first event had just Santa Claus and actress Jeanette Loff, but it quickly grew into a grand celebration (Wikipedia). Now, it attracts thousands of spectators every year.

You can buy reserved grandstand seats, with proceeds going to Toys for Tots. But if you’re more of a curbside viewer, there are free spots along the parade route. It’s a great chance to gather with friends and family, soak in the festive atmosphere, and maybe even spot a few celebrities.

But wait, there’s more! LA has several other Christmas parades that you shouldn’t miss. Each one has its own unique charm and entertainment. Here are a few highlights:

  • LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade: This boat parade in the Port of Los Angeles features decorated vessels cruising through the harbor. It’s a dazzling sight that combines the beauty of boats with the magic of Christmas.

  • Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade: Held in the charming community of San Pedro, this parade showcases local talent, school marching bands, and festive floats. It’s a delightful event that brings the community together in a joyful celebration.

  • Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade: If you’re near the coast, don’t miss the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. Boats adorned with twinkling lights sail through the marina, creating a stunning display on the water.

  • King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade: Located in Redondo Beach, the King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade is another nautical-themed celebration. Spectators can enjoy the sight of beautifully decorated boats as they make their way through the harbor, spreading holiday cheer.

These Christmas parades are a fantastic way to dive into the festive spirit and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Whether you attend the Hollywood Christmas Parade or explore the other parades in Los Angeles, you’re guaranteed to be swept up in the magic of the holiday season. So put on your Santa hat, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and join the festivities!

Historical Insights

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how Christmas parades in Los Angeles have evolved over the years. We’ll focus on the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the 1929 Los Angeles Christmas Parade.

Evolution of the Hollywood Christmas Parade

The Hollywood Christmas Parade has been spreading holiday cheer since 1928. It all started when Hollywood merchants decided to jazz up a mile of Hollywood Boulevard, turning it into “Santa Claus Lane” (Wikipedia). The first parade featured Santa Claus and actress Jeanette Loff, creating a festive vibe to lure in shoppers.

Originally called the Santa Claus Lane Parade, it aimed to bring some holiday magic to Hollywood. Over time, it became a beloved tradition for both locals and tourists.

World War II put a pause on the parade from 1942 to 1944, but it came back with a bang in 1945, drawing record crowds eager to celebrate the end of the war. The parade kept evolving, keeping up with the times and the entertainment scene.

In 1978, the event got a new name—the Hollywood Christmas Parade—and moved from Thanksgiving Eve to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This change was meant to attract more celebrities and boost its appeal. Thanks to folks like Gene Autry and Johnny Grant, the parade became a TV staple, broadcast locally on KTLA, making it even more popular (Wikipedia).

1929 Los Angeles Christmas Parade

The 1929 Los Angeles Christmas Parade is a big deal in the history of LA’s Christmas parades. Held shortly after the first Santa Claus Lane Parade, it was a key moment in establishing this festive tradition.

The 1929 parade showed just how excited people in LA were about the holiday season. It brought together the community, Santa Claus, and local personalities to celebrate Christmas. As the parade gained steam, it set the stage for future Christmas parades in Los Angeles.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade, with its roots in the 1928 Santa Claus Lane Parade and the 1929 Los Angeles Christmas Parade, has become an iconic event that Angelenos and visitors love. Its rich history, including Gene Autry’s contributions and its move to TV, has made it a cherished holiday tradition in LA (NBC Los Angeles).

As we look forward to upcoming parades and community celebrations in Los Angeles, it’s worth appreciating the history and evolution of these festive events. The Hollywood Christmas Parade, with its nearly century-long tradition, continues to captivate audiences, making it a must-see for families during the holiday season. Stay tuned for more info on the upcoming parades and community celebrations in Los Angeles.

Upcoming Parades in Los Angeles

Looking for a fun way to celebrate the holiday season in Los Angeles? Check out these upcoming parades that are sure to bring joy and holiday cheer!

LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade

Get ready to kick off the holiday season with the LA Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade. Happening on December 2, 2023, in the East Basin Channel of the Port of LA, this event is a must-see. You’ll witness a stunning display of boats of all shapes and sizes, decked out with festive decorations and lights. It’s a magical sight that will leave you amazed. For more details, visit Discover Los Angeles.

Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade

On December 3, 2023, head to Historic Downtown San Pedro for the 43rd Annual Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade. This beloved event features a lively procession of bands, drill teams, schools, nonprofits, elected officials, and even celebrities. The streets come alive with music, colorful floats, and the vibrant spirit of the holiday season. It’s an event that brings the community together and spreads joy to all who attend. Check out Discover Los Angeles for more details.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

For a unique and enchanting experience, mark your calendar for the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. Celebrating its 61st year, this parade will take place on December 9, 2023. The festivities begin with a dazzling fireworks display, followed by the parade itself. The boats, adorned with magnificent holiday decorations, sail through the marina, creating a stunning spectacle of lights on the water. This year, the Grand Marshal of the parade is Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, and the theme is “Holiday Spirit Around the World.” Don’t miss out on this magical event! Visit Discover Los Angeles for more information.

King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade

On December 9, 2023, the King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade will illuminate the Redondo Beach harbor with its charm and festive spirit. This year’s parade, themed “It’s a Wonderful Life,” pays tribute to the first responders who demonstrated incredible bravery during the storms of 2022-23. The parade is free to attend and can be enjoyed from various locations along Harbor Drive. Immerse yourself in the holiday cheer and marvel at the beautifully decorated boats as they glide through the harbor. For additional details, visit Discover Los Angeles.

These upcoming parades offer fantastic opportunities to celebrate the holiday season with family and friends. Don’t forget to explore other exciting holiday activities in Los Angeles, such as New Year’s Eve events, Christmas dinner, holiday markets, and more. Get ready to create lasting memories and embrace the festive spirit that fills the air in Los Angeles!

Community Celebrations

In the lively neighborhood of Boyle Heights, the annual Christmas Parade is the event everyone looks forward to. It’s a time when locals and visitors come together to celebrate. Let’s dive into the Boyle Heights Christmas Parade and meet this year’s grand marshal.

Boyle Heights Christmas Parade

The Boyle Heights Christmas Parade is a beloved tradition that lights up 1st Street, running from Boyle Avenue to Soto Street. Organized by the local Community Market, this parade is a colorful mix of folklórico dancers, mariachi singers, school bands, and community groups (Boyle Heights Beat).

Starting way back in 1942, the parade has roots in Japanese culture. A resident shared stories of a Christmas parade from that era, and it has since grown into a cherished event that celebrates diversity, culture, and holiday cheer.

The parade is a sensory delight with vibrant floats, lively music, and enthusiastic participants. Folks line the streets to soak in the festive vibes and enjoy the community’s joyful spirit. It’s a perfect chance to make lasting memories with friends and family.

Boyle Heights Parade Grand Marshal

Each year, the Boyle Heights Christmas Parade picks a grand marshal to lead the way and embody the community spirit. This year, it’s Joe Diaz, a well-known figure in the neighborhood. Joe has spent over 20 years working at the Boyle Heights Tech Center, making a big difference in many lives (Boyle Heights Beat).

As the grand marshal, Joe Diaz will be at the front of the parade, representing the community and showcasing values like togetherness, resilience, and unity. His dedication to Boyle Heights makes him a perfect fit for this honorary role.

The parade, with Joe Diaz leading, promises to be a festive and unforgettable event. It kicks off at 3 pm and runs until 9 pm, giving everyone plenty of time to soak up the holiday spirit and enjoy all the fun activities (Boyle Heights Beat).

The Boyle Heights Christmas Parade is all about keeping traditions alive, building connections, and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the neighborhood. It’s an event that brings joy and warmth to everyone who attends.

For more fun Christmas events and activities in Los Angeles, check out our other articles on New Year’s Eve events, Christmas dinner, holiday markets, ice skating rinks, Christmas brunch, Christmas tree farms, hot chocolate spots, Christmas light displays, and places to see snow near Los Angeles.

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