Parade organizers hope to revive local tradition

Organizers expect tens of thousands of revelers to line the streets of Hollywood Boulevard tonight for the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. The people behind the parade hope to restore the glitter to Tinsel Town’s holiday tradition.

New York has the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; Pasadena has the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, and for more than 80 years, Hollywood has hosted its Christmas Parade. In days gone by, people flocked there to wave to its A-list stars.

After a few years of struggling to stay afloat, parade producers say they’re making a comeback this year with a big corporate sponsor, celebrities, and most importantly, a national prime-time TV contract.

"This really brings it back. There was a golden era, so we’re bringing it back," said TV producer and parade organizer Peter Schlesinger. "They’ll be able to see almost all of the soap stars. They’ll be able to see people coming from the sitcoms and people from the movies, especially the movies coming out over the holidays."

Actress Susan Lucci of daytime TV’s All My Children is the grand marshal this year. Coca-Cola is the sponsor and MyNetworkTV will broadcast the parade next month, including on Christmas Eve. The parade begins at 6 p.m. in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

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