Last weekend was Thanksgiving weekend for many people. For those in Hollywood however, it was an early Christmas as Hollywood held their 80th Christmas Parade last Sunday evening from 6:00PM to 10:00PM. The parade began in front of the Chinese Theatre and ended on Sunset Blvd and Orange Dr. Anywhere by the Chinese Theatre was packed with pedestrians although there were spaces for people to stand on the upper floors of the Hollywood and Highland Center. I found it less crowded on Hollywood Blvd and McCadden Pl. On that intersection, there were MCs and even a giant screen situated to help spectators identify the various participants of the parade who passed by. Seats near the front also opened up during the last half of the event.
The parade consisted of school marching bands, Chinese American and Korean American dancers, horse riders, celebrities, politicians, firefighters, and tons of giant balloons. The highlight of the parade for me were those wearing “Transformers” costumes that can transform from humanoid to automobile modes and the giant balloons of Elmo, a Smurf, and Kermit the Frog. “Star Car Central” also showcased cars from iconic movies and television series, including the Party Van from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the Explorer from “Jurassic Park,” Kitt from “Knight Rider,” the Delorean from “Back to the Future” with an actor dressed up as the Doc, and a Bumblebee from “Transformers” that drives by itself.
For better or worse, L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology had a very noticeable presence in the parade with at least half a dozen giant balloons dedicated to them. When the parade ended, the Hollywood Christmas Parade even had Santa Claus hand out Scientology books to children and their parents. I almost thought I was in a Scientology Parade.
With the presence of celebrities like La Toya Jackson and Vavica A. Fox and lots of giant balloons of popular characters, the Hollywood Christmas Parade was certainly a large televised event. However, I wasn’t appreciative knowing how the parade was used extensively to convert people to Scientology. Furthermore, there were extensive breaks between floats that some left the parade early, thinking it was over.
Did you go to the parade, and how did you feel about it? Leave a comment below.
More photos of the parade will be posted on our Facebook so keep a lookout for those soon.
Until next time,