Seeing Stars: Where the Stars Meet the Public

Along Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard & Vine Street,
Hollywood, CA. / (323) 469-2337 or (323) 469-8311

Each year, Tinseltown kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season with a major, star-studded, 3.2 mile Christmas parade along Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard (click here for the route).

This annual holiday event began over 90 years ago (in 1928), and was originally called "The Santa Claus Lane Parade." In fact, it inspired singer Gene Autry to co-write the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" ("...right down Santa Claus Lane").

The event was later renamed "The Hollywood Christmas Parade," and over a million people line up along the curbs each year to watch this dazzling night time procession of stars.

This year, the 91st annual parade was  held, as always, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving: Sunday, November 23, 2023, at 5 PM.

The Grand Marshal this year will be Medal of Honor hero Colonel Paris D. Davis.

But the parade has declined a lot from its heyday, when it used to draw major Hollywood stars like Bob Hope and Charlton Heston.

One would think that Hollywood, which is the home to most movie and TV stars, would be able to turn out a huge number of major stars for a hometown parade, but that isn't the case with today's version of the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Recent celebrity turnout has actually been rather pathetic, consisting mostly of newcomers, aging TV performers, and minor celebrities .

For instance, in 2018 the parade's Grand Marshal was Nancy O'Dell, of Entertainment Tonight. Not exactly Bob Hope… In 2022, the Grand Marshal was independent film actor Danny Trejo.

And the biggest celebrities riding in the 2018 parade were the likes of Burt Ward ('Robin' from TVs "Batman") and "Leave It to Beaver"'s Jerry Mathers, along with many cast members from most of TVs daytime soap operas.

There were somewhat bigger names performing on stage in front of Grauman's Chinese theatre before the parade (such as Jane Lynch, Donnie & Marie, and what's left of the Beach Boys). But those performances can only be seen by a relative few in reserved seats near that stage, since most of those performers don't ride in the actual parade itself.

So, if you come to watch the parade in person, you're probably better off focusing on the parade's marching bands, equestrian units, giant balloons, and general festive atmosphere, all of which are bright and entertaining. But if you come strictly to see stars, in most years you're likely to be disappointed.

And often, the show isn't broadcast on TV locally (KTLA) until  weeks after the actual parade (in 2023, it was televised on December 15, three weeks after the event.)

The 2023 parade managed to do somewhat better with their celebrity turnout , with those riding in the parade including  singer Paula Abdul, actor Brandon Roth Superman Returns”), and actress Denise Richards, along with the cast members of the “Quantum Leap” reboot, actresses Tatyana AliFresh Prince of Bel-Air”) and  Alanna UbachLegally Blonde”), country singer Laura Bryna, a car filled with various stars from the Hallmark Channel, and cast members from TV's four remaining soap operas.
And those singing on the stage in front of the bleachers included Dwight YoakamThe Village People, Berlin, War, two “American Idol” performers, and pianist Chloe Flower.

The parade has had the same four celebrity co-hosts each year since 2016:
Erik Estrada, Dean Cain, Montel Williams, and Laura McKenzie. 
Besides celebrities, the 2023 parade also featured costumed characters such as The  Grinch and a virtual army of costumed Star Wars characters, plus giant balloons in the shape of Mighty Mouse and Betty Boop, performances from various ethnic dance groups, marching bands, and, of course, Santa Claus with his sleigh wrapping things up

In 2017, the Grand Marshal was Dr. Oz.

Celebs riding in the 2017 parade included Lou Diamond Phillips ("La Bamba"), Burt Ward ('Robin' on TV's "Batman"), Jerry Mathers ("Leave It to Beaver"), and the cast of "Days of Our Lives".

The Grand Marshal of the 2016 parade was singer/actress Olivia Newton-John (star of "Grease", the most successful movie musical of all time).

Celebs riding in the 2016 parade included Lou Gossett Jr ("An Officer and a Gentleman"), Robert Wagner ("Hart to Hart"), the kids from the sitcoms "Black-ish" and "Fresh Off the Boat", Keeesha Sharp ("Lethal Weapon"), the casts of soaps "The Young and the Restless", "Days of Our Lives" and "The Bold & the Beautiful", and Mickey Mouse, plus some giant balloons, marching bands, equestrian groups (such as the Clydesdales) and Santa!

Performers at the pre-parade concert (held near the starting point) included Olivia, of course, plus Cyndi Lauper, Kenny G, the Beach Boys, War, and two star bands made up of artists from other rock bands (including Lisa Loeb, Mark McGrath, Tyler Glenn, et al.)

The parade was televised later, on the CW network on December 16 (Channel 5, here in L.A.)

Celebs riding in last year's (2015) parade included the cast of "Jane the Virgin", the cast of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend", Seinfeld's John O’Hurley, magicians Penn & Teller, cast members from popular soap operas such as "All My Children", "The Bold & the Beautiful", "General Hospital' and "Days of Our Lives" - (not to mention Internet sensation "Grumpy Cat").

The pre-parade concert (held near the starting point of the parade) featured Clay Aiken, India.Arie, Tyler Glenn Of Neon Trees, Daughtry, and Taylor Hicks, among others.

The Grand Marshal for 2014 was singer Stevie Wonder.  A concert held before the parade started included Stevie plus a Richie Sambora, Taylor Dayne, Heart, Estelle, Jesse McCartney, Rita Wilson and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Co-hosts included Erik Estrada, Dean Cain, Laura McKenzie,  and Montel Williams.

Celebrities riding in the pararde, besides Stevie Wonder and Richie Sambora, included L.A. Mayor Garceti, boxer Oscar de la Hoya, actress Cristela Alonzo, actor Tommy Flanagan ('Chibs' on "Sons of Anarchy") Nancy Cartwright (the voice of 'Bart Simpson'), two cast members of "The Goldbergs" ('Barry' and 'Erica'), the three kids from 'Black-ish", the casts of the soaps "Days Of Our Luves" and "The Young and the Restless", young cast members from several Disney Channel & Nickelodeon shows, Lassie, and Santa (of course).

In 2013, the Grand Marshal was astronaut Buzz Aldren, the 2nd man to walk on the moon.

Celebrities in the pararde included "Rhoda" star Valerie Harper, "Leave It To Beaver" stars Jerry Mathers & Tony Dow, "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" star Melissa Joan Hart and hubby Joey Lawrence, three members of the cast of "The Neighbors", actors Ben Vereen & Ron Masak, and a lot of stars from soap operas and Disney Channel shows.

The Grand Marshal for the 2012 parade was Emmy & Tony-winning actor Joe Mantegna (
“Joan of Arcadia“The Godfather: Part III “Criminal Minds”).

TV personalities Erik Estrada ("CHiPs") and Laura McKenzie ("Traveler") were the broadcast hosts of the parade, and actor Dean Cain ("Lois & Clark") hosted the music portion.

As for the celebrities riding in the 2012 parade, they had the star of "Eureka", 'Sheriff Carter' himself, Colin Ferguson, the alien family from "The Neighbors", all the ballet girls from "Bunheads", 'The Beav' from "Leave It to Beaver" (Jerry Mathers), 'Becky' and 'Jacob' from "Glee" (Lauren Potter & Josh Sussman), 'Chris' from "Everybody Hates Chris" (Tyrel Jackson Williams), Castle's mother from "Castle" (Susan Sullivan), TV's "The Hulk" (Lou Ferrigno), Star Trek's 'Sulu', (George Takei), 'Greg' from "Dharma & Greg' (and now on "Criminal Minds") Thomas Gibson, 'Jackson' from "Hannah Montana" (Jason Earles), Louis Gossett, Jr. ("An Officer & a Gentleman", "Roots"), Natasha Henstridge ("Species"), Candace Cameron Bure ('D.J.' on "Full House"), Ron Masak ("Murder She Wrote"), plus a ton of young stars from various Disney Channel shows and network soap operas like "The Young & the Restless" and "Days of Our Lives".  (Not to mention Uggie The Dog from "The Artist".)

The Grand Marshal for the 2011 parade was Marie Osmond.

Celebrities riding in the 2011 parade will included Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future", "Caroline in the City", "Switched at Birth"), Louis Gossett, Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman"), Tom Cavanagh ("Ed"), Joan van Ark ("Dallas", "Knot's Landing"), Quinton Aaron ("The Blind Side"), Vivica A. Fox ("Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Ted McGinley ("Married with Children", "Hope & Faith"), Sasha Pieterse ('Alison' on "Pretty Little Liars"), Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. ("America's Got Talent"), Jason Earles ('Jackson' on "Hannah Montana"), Kate Linder ("The Young & the Restless"), Montel Williams, Booboo Stewart ("Twilight"), Tiffany Thornton ("Sonny With a Chance"), La Toya Jackson, and NBA star Ron Artest (AKA Metta World Peace), plus lots of soap opera stars and young actors that the studios (especially Disney) want to get out there to be seen.

In 2010, the Grand Marshal was talk show host Larry King.

Other celebs riding in the parade included the legendary Dick Van Dyke, Louis Gossett Jr., Ione Skye ("Say Anything"), Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna, Vivica A. Fox, The Tonight Show's Kevin Eubanks, Sara Ramirez ('Callie') & Sarah Drew ('April') from "Grey's Anatomy," Stephanie Powers ("Hart to Hart"), Corbin Bernsen ("Psych" and "L.A. Law"), Rico Rodriguez & Noland Gould (the boys from "Modern Family"), Iqbal Theba ('Principal Figgins' in "Glee"), Jason Earles ('Jackson' on "Hannah Montana"), Melody Thomas Scott ('Nikki' on "Days of Our Lives"), Susan Sullivan & Molly Quinn ("Castle"'s mother & daughter), Jimmy Bennett ('J.J.' on "No Ordinary Family"), Donna Mills ("Knot's Landing"), comic Rip Taylor, Atticus Shaffer ('Brick' on "The Middle"), and cast members from "Wizards of Waverly Place" (David DeLuise, Jake T. Austin & Maria Canals-Barrera) and "Sonny With a Chance" (Brandon Smith, Doug Brochu & Allisyn Ashley Arm).

2010 also saw the introduction of several Macy's-style giant balloons.

In 2009, the Grand Marshal for the 2009 parade was soap opera star Susan Lucci, of "All My Children" fame.

Other celebs in 2009 included Lou Gossett Jr. ("An Officer & a Gentleman"), Cindy Williams ("Laverne & Shirley"), TV host Montel Williams, Lee Majors ("The Six Million Dollar Man"), "General Hospital" star Genie Francis, "The Bold & the Beautiful"'s Lesley-Anne Down, "The Young and the Restless" Kate Linder, Kim Wayans Shawn Wayans, "CSI: Miami"'s Eva La Rue, "The Vampire Diaries"' Katerina Graham, Judge Mathis, actors Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Lorenzo Lamas, "American Idol"'s Ace Young, and many more.

The 2008 parade included actress Shirley Jones (and hubby Marty Ingels), the late David Carradine, Demi Lovato ("Camp Rock"), Hugh O'Brian, Fred Willard ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), Lana Wood, and cast members from "Twilight" and "The Young & the Restless", among others, as well as the usual great marching bands and equestrian units.

But the 76th annual parade almost didn't happen in 2007. Why?

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which ran the parade up until 2007, decided to cancel the 2007 parade because it was losing money. For a while, it appeared there would be no parade in 2007. But the parade was saved at the last moment, when the L.A. City Council voted to sponsor the event.

The show is now produced by a for-profit company called Hollywood Christmas Parade Television.

Since the Chamber of Commerce owned the name "The Hollywood Christmas Parade", the name of the 2007 parade was temporarily changed to "The Hollywood Santa Parade" (sort of a throwback to the early days when it was the "Santa Claus Lane Parade"), but otherwise it went on as usual, the Sunday after Thanksgiving (November 25, 2007), using the very same parade route as before.

Despite the last minute rescue, they still managed to round up a few stars for the event, although the overall star quotient for that year's parade did fall far short of most past years.

The Grand Marshal for the 2007 parade was Bob Barker ("The Price is Right"), and other celebs on hand included the Shawn & Marlon Wayans, Jamie Farr ('Klinger' on "M*A*S*H*"), Fred Willard ("Everybody Lives Raymond"), Melody Thomas Scott ('Nikki' on "The Young and the Restless"), Tony Plana (Betty's father on "Ugly Betty"), crazyman Rip Taylor, radio legend Casey Kasem, Rex Lee ('Lloyd' on "Entourage"), and "Eight is Enough" star Dick Van Patten. Although it was originally announced that the cast of "High School Musical" was going to participate in the parade, it turned out that just one cast member, Kaycee Stroh ('Martha Cox') actually showed up.

But a crowd of at least 125,000 turned out to watch.

The name was eventually changed back to The Hollywood Christmas Parade (in 2009), and it has been going strong ever since.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade isn't in the same league as Pasadena's spectacular Rose Parade (then again, what other parade is?), but it is still a large, festive affair with more than a dozen colorful marching bands, TV & radio celebrities riding in open antique convertibles, twenty glitzy floats, cartoon characters, equestrian units, and of course Santa Claus himself riding an 18-foot-high, 62-foot-long float in the grand finale.

For the star-struck, it should be pointed out that the parade is one of those rare opportunities when you're guaranteed to see actual movie & TV stars on the streets of Hollywood. In fact, it has been billed as "the largest celebrity parade in the world!" In their time, Mary Pickford, Natalie Wood, Eddie Cantor and the Three Stooges all rode in the parade. David  Letterman was discovered by NBC after he helped broadcast the event on TV.


Parade Grand Marshals of the last few decades have included Bob Hope, Charlton Heston, Lou Gossett, Tony Danza, Tom Arnold and David Hasselhoff.

In 2006, as the parade marked its 75 Anniversary, TV's Regis Philbin ("Live With Regis & Kelly", "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"), who is also 75, was the "Diamond Jubilee Honorary Grand Marshal". The regular Grand Marshal was George Lopez ("The George Lopez Show"). Other parade participants & performers included singer Michael Bolton and fiance Nicolette Sheridan (from "Desperate Housewives"), David Boreanaz ("Angel", "Bones") Shawn & Marlon Wayans ("The Wayans Bros"), Casper Van Dien ("Starship Troopers"), Edward James Olmos ("Battlestar Galactica"), Marlee Matlin ("Children of a Lesser God"), Catherine Oxenberg ("Watch Over Me"), Hayden Panettiere (the cheerleader from "Heroes"), Hulk Hogan & his daughter Brooke Hogan, Joey Lawrence ("Dancing with the Stars"), Stephen CollinsCatherine Hicks ('the Camdens' from "7th Heaven"), Eric Braeden ('Victor' on "The Young & the Restless"), Malcolm David Kelley ('Walt' on "Lost"). Justin Hartley ('Green Arrow' on "Smallville"), and lots of TV sitcom stars and costumed cartoon characters.

In 2005, the Grand Marshal was L.A.'s new mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, the first elected official to be Grand Marshal in the Hollywood Christmas Parade's history . Celebrities riding in the 2005 parade included Mickey Rooney, Eartha Kitt, Kathy Griffin, Dick Van Patten, Baywatch's David Hasselhoff, Kevin Eubanks (bandleader on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"), Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith ('Mr. & Mrs. Forman' from "That 70's Show"), Mackenzie Rosman ('Ruthie' on "7th Heaven"), Richard Schiff ('Toby Ziegler' on "The West Wing"), Tony Orlando & Dawn, singer Romeo, Vivien Cardone ('Delia' on "Everwood"), Tyler Hilton ('Chris ' on "One Tree Hill"), Tyler Hoechlin ("Road to Perdition"), Camille Winbush ('Nessa' on "The Bernie Mac Show"), L.A. Clippers players, Disney characters, and of course, Santa Claus.

In 2004 the Grand Marshal was basketball great Magic Johnson. Other celebs that year included Brad Garrett ('Robert' in "Everybody Loves Raymond"), George Lopez, Eric Roberts ("Less Than Perfect"), Cindy Williams ("Laverne & Shirley"), Lorenzo Lamas, astronaut Buzz Aldren, and various cast members from the shows "Gilmore Girls", "That '70s Show", "Complete Savages", "My Wife & Kids", "Days of Our Lives", "The Young & the Restless" and "The Bold & the Beautiful". Plus costumed cartoon characters Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, The Simpsons, & Spider-Man.

In 2003, the Grand Marshal was the honorary Mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant (replacing governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declined an invitation to be the year's Grand Marshal); stars riding in the parade included Joe Mantegna ("Joan of Arcadia") Eric Roberts, Ruth Buzzi, Gene Barry, Lorenzo Lamas, Joanne Worley, Danny Bonaduce, Dick Van Patten, Tippi Hedren, Fred Willard, Judge Joe Brown and Laker James Worthy, along with L.A. Mayor James Hahn. The event also featured cast members from "The Bernie Mac Show," "Gilmore Girls," and "7th Heaven," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper", "D.H.S." and "That '70s Show", among others.

The event is telecast in front of the new Kodak Theatre, and a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard is covered with red carpet for the start of the parade.

In 2002, due to NBC's new involvement, there were some top of the line celebs on hand (at least for the entertainment portions of their broadcast), including Destiny's Child, LeAnn Rimes, Carrot Top and David Copperfield. There will be a new "Back to the Future" float, a performance from the new Disney musical "Aladdin" and a stunt from the movie "XXX". Stars actually riding in the 2002 parade will include Grand Marshal Mickey Rooney, William Shatner (Star Trek's 'Captain Kirk'), Frankie Avalon, Jerry O'Connell ("Sliders"), singer Pat Boone, Ray Liotta ("Goodfellas", "John Q"), Robert Patrick ("Terminator II", "The X-Files"), Elvira ('Mistress of the Dark"), Mindy Sterling ("Austin Powers"), Leeza Gibbons ("Extra"), Lorenzo Lamas ("The Immortal"), Seth Peterson ("Providence"), Joe Mantegna ("Godfather III"), Natasha Henstridge, Kevin Eubanks ("The Tonight Show" bandleader), Danny Bonaduce ("The Other Half"), That 70's Show's Kurtwood SmithDebra Jo Rupp, and more.

In 2001, the parade's Grand Marshal was actor Peter Fonda. Celebrities riding in the parade included Kathy Kinney ('Mimi' on "The Drew Carrey Show"), Florence Henderson ("The Brady Bunch"), Jack Klugman ("The Odd Couple," "Quincy"), Marion Ross ("Happy Days"), Melissa Gilbert ("Little House on the Prairie"), three stars of "The Parkers" cast (Mo'Nique, Countess Vaughn & Dorien Wilson), Michelle Trachtenberg ('Dawn' from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Nikki Cox ("Unhappily Ever After," "Nikki"), Robert Patrick ("The X-Files", "Terminator II"), Ed Begley Jr. ("Six Feet Under"), singer/actor Pat Boone, Seth Peterson ('Robbie' on "Providence'), Kevin Eubanks (the "Tonight Show" bandleader), Alan Rachins (Dharma's father on "Dharma & Greg"), LeVar Burton ("Star Trek: TNG"), Vicki Lewis ('Beth' on "NewsRadio"), Leeza Gibbons ("Extra!"), Lorenzo Lamas ("The Immortal"), Fyvush Finkel ("Picket Fences," "Boston Public"), Justin Berfield ('Reese' on "Malcolm in the Middle"), Christopher Titus ('Titus'), Antonio Sabato, Jr. ("Melrose Place"), and three stars of the new "Star Trek: Enterprise" show, Anthony Montgomery ('Ensign Mayweather'), Dominic Keating ('Lt. Malcolm Reed') and Jolene Blalock ("T'Pol"), wrestler "Chyna" and other WWF stars, plus musical groups Eden's Crush and All-4-One, numerous soap opera stars, assorted costumed characters such as Betty Boop and Sonic the Hedgehog and many more.

In 2000, the Grand Marshal duties were shared by youngster Frankie Muniz (star of TV's "Malcolm in the Middle") and veteran actor Dennis Hopper ("Easy Rider"). Three Hollywood legends were honored and rode in the parade: film legend Mickey Rooney, TV legend Sid Caesar and radio legend Casey Kasem. Other celebrities riding in the parade included Ed Begley Jr., Teri Garr, Natasha Henstridge, Joe Mantegna, Leeza Gibbons, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, singer Helen Reddy, Alfonso Ribeiro, Victoria Rowell ("Diagnosis Murder"), Fred Willard ("Best of Show"), John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld," "To Tell the Truth"), plus cast members of "Star Trek: Voyager," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "NYPD Blue" and many other shows. The Parade opened with a performance of the "Circle of Life" from The Lion King.

In 1999, Jessica Simpson met Nick Lachey at the Hollywood Christmas Parade and the two were soon married. The Grand Marshal of that 68th annual parade was actor Beau Bridges, and celebrities who rode in the parade include David Arquette, Julio Iglesias Jr., Edward James Olmos, David Hasselhoff, 98 Degrees, Mindy Sterling, Erik Estrada, Tia Carrere, Fabian, Leeza Gibbons, Donna Mills, Frankie Avalon and a host of cast members from TV shows like "Boy Meets World," "King of Queens," "NYPD Blue," "Beverly Hills 90210," "Walker: Texas Ranger" and "Just Shoot Me."

In 1998, the Grand Marshal was Robert Urich ("Vegas" and "The Love Boat"). Some of the celebs who rode in the 1998 parade included Jeri Ryan and Ethan Phillips ('Seven of Nine' and 'Neelix' on "Star Trek Voyager"), Mickey Rooney, Donny and Marie Osmond, Dick Van Dyke, Shirley Jones, Loni Anderson ("WKRP in Cincinnati"), Lou Diamond Phillips ("The Big Hit"), Marion Ross ("Happy Days"), Ben Savage & Rider Strong ("Boy Meets World"), Corey Parker ("The Love Boat"), Orson Bean & Alley Mills ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Barbara Eden ("I Dream of Jeannie"), Vicki Lawrence ("Mama's Family"), Isabel Sanford ("The Jeffersons"), Barbara Billingsly ("Leave It To Beaver"), Ruth Buzzi ("Laugh-In"), Nancy Sinatra, 98 Degrees, Little Richard, Pat Boone, Steve Allen, Debby Boone, Melissa Manchester, Harvey Korman,and Connie Stevens (not to mention cartoon characters from"The Simpsons," "Dilbert" and "The Rug Rats.")

Other celebrities who have appeared in the parade in the last few years include:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Betty White, Rodney Dangerfield, Tori Spelling, Walter Matthau, Beau Bridges, Dom Deluise, John Denver, Lou Rawls, Ed  Asner, George Hamilton, David Carradine, Englebert Humperdinck, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Ned Beatty.

Previous decades have seen such celebrity participants as Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Bing CrosbyJimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis Jr., George Burns & Gracie Allen, Red Skelton, Dorothy Lamour, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, Wallace Berry, Basil Rathbone, Fanny Brice and Rudy Vallee.


There have also been numerous well-known TV personalities riding in the parade in recent years, such as Lea Thompson (from "Caroline in the City"), Vanna White ("Wheel of Fortune"), the twins from "Two of a Kind" (Ashley & Mary Kate Olsen), Jaleel White ("Steve Urkel" of "Family Matters"), Jessica Biel ("Seventh Heaven"), Loretta Swit ("M*A*S*H"), Jonathan Silverman ("The Single Guy"), Harry Anderson ("Night Court"), Zackery Ty Bryan (Brad on "Home Improvement"), "Picket Fences" ' Ray Walston and Fyvush Finkel,   "NYPD Blue" 's Dennis Franz, twins Tamara & Tia Mowry ("Sister Sister"), Gena Lee NolanAlexandra Paul of "Baywatch," Lynda Carter ("Wonder Woman"), Marion Ross ("Happy Days"), Scott Baio ("Charles in Charge"), Eric Estrada ("CHIPs"), "Star Trek" 's Kate Mulgrew ('Captain Janeway'), Lavar Burton ('Geordi'), Tim Russ (Tuvok) and George Takei ('Sulu'), Fred Dryer (of "Hunter"), Michael Damian ("The Young & the Restless"), Steve Allen, Rich Little, Martin Landau, Nell Carter, Jack Klugman, Ed McMahon, Bozo the Clown, Elvira and "Entertainment Tonight" 's John Tesh, plus lots of kid stars and other minor celebs from various sitcoms.

And that's not mentioning the biggest star of the show - Santa!

The reserved grandstand bleachers are located along the prime area where the stars are interviewed for the live TV broadcast, and the various singers and entertainers take the stage t o perform.  These  bleachers seats provide a fine view of the stars, and the marching bands And dance teams perform at their best along this early section of the parade route (lined with a red carpet), since they know they're on TV. (And if you're in the right spot in those bleachers, there's a chance that your face will be broadcast all over the world, too!)

So much for the good news. Now here is the bad news:

    · Traffic: getting to and from the parade can be murder. Even as early as two hours before the parade time, the Hollywood (101) Freeway backs up for a mile before the Santa Monica exit, and surface streets in the area are a real zoo. Trying to find a parking spot is even worse. I'm sure that many people who arrive late end up spending the entire parade either stuck in a traffic jam or looking for a place to park. It can be very frustrating. (The solution? Come early. Or else take the subway.)

    · Crowds: over one million people turn out each year to view the parade, so finding a curbside viewing spot isn't easy. A lot of people are disappointed each year. Even those who buy reserved grandstand seats are crammed into the bleachers like sardines on very hard, uncomfortable bench seats, basically unable to move during the three-hour wait. (The solution? Buy the reserved seats, then bring along a seat cushion.)

    · Cold: This is a night time parade, and the weather in late November is often quite chilly (at least by L.A. standards and our usual casual dress code), with temperatures often falling into the 50's or even the 40's. Exposed skin can become painfully chilled, especially after hours of sitting motionless in a grandstand seat. (The solution? Dress very warmly!)

    · The Wait: the parade lasts for two hours, and you have to show up at least two hours in advance to have any chance of getting a viewing spot. So that means sitting cramped in the same spot, relatively motionless, for at least four hours, sometimes in bone-chilling cold. (The solution? Be patient, and be sure to stand up and stretch your legs every now and then...)

In short, trying to watch the parade in person can be a physically uncomfortable experience, even under the best of circumstances; be prepared for a long, tiring wait in the cold.

So is the parade worth all the trouble? Well, yes.  I suppose everyone should see the parade in person at least once. But having said that, I might add that I'll be watching it on TV this year from the warm comfort of my living room...

Reserved seat tickets will be available via Ticketmaster.

Parade Route: The parade takes place along a 2.5-mile, U-shaped route that includes Hollywood Boulevard, Vine Street, and Sunset Boulevard. It starts near the corner of Hollywood Blvd & Orange (in front of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre), then heads east on Hollywood Blvd to Vine Street, where it turns right (south) on Vine and goes south on Vine to Sunset Boulevard. It turns right (west) on Sunset, and marches back west on Sunset to Orange, ending up in front of Hollywood High School.

Parking: Parking may be available at the Hollywood & Highland parking structure (which is discounted with validation with a purchase from the center), and at two lots on either side of Hollywood Boulevard at 1632 and 1720 Las Palmas. Other public (paid) lots are available along the main streets in the area, such as Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, and Vine Street, as well as at Hollywood High. Rates vary. Traffic is unbearably congested in the area before and after the parade. All of the involved streets are sealed off. Almost all freeway traffic is funneled onto Santa Monica Boulevard, and a big traffic jam is already building by two hours before the parade time. If you come, arrive early. After the parade, my advice is to take minor surface streets away from the scene, and avoid the crowds trying to get back on the Hollywood Freeway.

One way to avoid the parking hassle is to take the new Metro subway. There are now subway stations at Hollywood & Highland as well as at Hollywood & Vine. So you can park far away from the traffic nightmare, ride underground to the heart of the parade route.

Admission Price: The parade is free, if you are willing to take your chances when it comes to finding a curbside viewing spot along the 1.75-mile- long parade route. 

Tickets for reserved VIP grandstand seating are available for $120 ($60 for children) this year, via Ticketmaster.  For more information about tickets, go here
The bleacher seats are set up near the start of the parade, right in front of the Chinese Theatr
e just west of Hollywood & Highland, in front of the performers' stage, where the TV cameras are positioned. 
It appears these reserved seat tickets may be available for half price, if bought early in the year, up until Labor Day (the first Monday in September).

Hours:  The parade takes place on the first Sunday after Thanksgiving. 
In 2024, the parade will be held on Sunday, November 31, at 6 PM. ( Be sure to phone ahead to check the time & date for this year's parade. )
But the huge crowds force you to arrive earlier. If you have reserved grandstand seats, you must be in those seats an hour earlier. And if you do not have reserved seats, then it would be advisable to show up much earlier, to avoid traffic jams. 
If you have a reserved seat, I would suggest being near the Santa Monica exit to the Hollywood Freeway by at least an hour and forty five minutes early. If you do not have a reserved seat, then be in Hollywood by at least three hours before the parade. And expect a long wait.

 Getting there: From the Hollywood (101) Freeway take the Santa Monica Blvd exit and head west. (The entire parade route and all intersecting streets will be closed to traffic until after the parade. In addition, key exits to the Hollywood Freeway will also be temporarily closed before and after the parade, as early as noon. Phone in advance for exact street closures.)

Bear in mind that there are new subway stations at Hollywood & Highland as well as at Hollywood & Vine. To avoid the traffic and parking problems, you can park farther away from the hassle and simply take the subway to the heart of the parade route.

[ Visit the official Hollywood Christmas Parade website at:]

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