11 months ago
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. Yet on Nov. 26, the 86th annual Los Angeles’ Hollywood Christmas Parade majestically made its way through the popular tourist area, attracting thousands from around the world as well as locals.
The much loved holiday tradition featured large, inflatable character balloons, (Gumby, Betty Boop, Gingerbread Man etc.) numerous musical performances, 18 award-winning marching bands from around the country and an assortment of vintage cars from movies (“Back to the Future,” “Toy Story Pizza Planet Truck) and television.
Even if you missed the festivities, you can still watch the parade premiere as a two-hour prime time special on The CW and Hallmark Channel on December 15th. The show will also air to more than one million American servicemen and women worldwide on the American Forces Network during the holiday season.
Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz was Grand Marshall for the parade.
“I flew all the way across the country just to be here!” Oz told RealClearLife. “This parade raises millions of dollars for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation which is so great. To be a Marshall is a joy, I get to see all these wonderful smiling faces. Plus, my nine-year-old nephew, Liam, gets to drive me in the parade today! Could be a little bit risky!”
When asked what he wanted for Christmas, the television personality quipped, “I haven’t thought about it yet! I’d like a better pair of shoes.”
“But what’s really important to me is that my daughter, who is pregnant, gives birth to a healthy child. In the next few weeks, I’ll be a grandfather again. I am praying it’s all healthy and pretty straightforward.”
In previous years, Bob Hope, Gene Autry, William Shatner, Tony Danza, Beau Bridges, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Fonda, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood were among the many celebrities who were selected as Grand Marshall’s.
Donny and Marie Osmond, Cee Lo Green, Ludacris, The Village People, Reuben Studdard and Montel Williams all make appearances on the show. Celebrity VIP’s from popular series like CBS, The Young and the Restless, “Days of Our Lives” and The CW’s magic show, Masters of Illusion all were in attendance, along with Santa Claus, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“No one does Christmas quite like the Hollywood Christmas Parade!” Garcetti said in a tweet.
During arrivals, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell presented Dr. Oz with a Certificate of Recognition from The City of Los Angeles for his career accomplishments.
Nine-time Parade host Erik Estrada just wants people to “chill out” for the holidays. “Things have been a little tense out there and it would be nice to see people relax. And I’d also love everyone to bring an unwrapped toy to Toys For Tots. Every child deserves a gift on Christmas.”
Burt Ward, the veteran actor who played the role of Robin in the popular television series, Batman, doesn’t want anything material for the holiday.
“I just want everyone to be happy and have a good time this coming year. My wife and I have everything because we have each other, but for the rest of the world, I would like to see people treat their friends and family with kindness. We are here for such a short time.”
Jerry Mathers (star of the iconic television series, Leave It to Beaver) and Tony Dow (Wally Cleaver) have been attending the Christmas parade since 1957.
“I have a Christmas wish for all of your readers: take care of your health! I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes ten years ago, and by walking each day with my Fitbit, and eating healthy, I lost weight and have been able to control it. So make sure you walk and eat right!” he enthused.
The Rollettes, a group of wheelchair dancers, American Idol winner, Nick Fradiani and Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy also perform.