The Hollywood Christmas Parade, formerly the Hollywood Santa Parade or Santa Claus Lane Parade, is an annual parade that takes place on the weekend after Thanksgiving in the Hollywood community in Los Angeles, California, United States. The parade's 3.5-mile route follows Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard and has many celebrities among its participants. The 2011 parade will be held on Sunday, November 27, at 6:00 PM Pacific Time. The 2010 parade was held on Sunday, November 28, at 6:00 PM, Pacific Time (9:00 PM, Eastern Time).
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce created the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1928 to boost shopping. Originally called the Santa Claus Lane Parade, the inaugural event featured only Santa Claus and the actress Jeanette Loff. The parade continued to grow in scale with the help of local businesses and the community. In 1931 Santa Claus rode a truck-pulled float instead of the reindeer-pulled carriage of previous years. American Legion Post 43 marched with a color guard, drum line and bugle corps.
By 1978, the parade had been renamed the Hollywood Christmas Parade in order to attract more celebrities, and was broadcast locally on KTLA-TV with the help of Johnny Grant. But in 2004, an attempt to present the parade as a primetime special on NBC proved disastrous. Executive produced by Bob Bain, the hour-long "Blockbuster Hollywood Christmas Spectacular" aired on December 1 on NBC, and was a ratings flop. The following year, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced it would discontinue airing the parade on KTLA and other Tribune-owned stations due to rising production costs. In March 2007, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided to end the parade's run due to lack of celebrities and a loss of $100,000 for the 2006 production, which The Associated Press said cost about $1 million to mount.
In 2007, the City of Los Angeles created a new parade to replace the Hollywood Christmas Parade, entitled the Hollywood Santa Parade and staged on the weekend after Thanksgiving (the original parade had traditionally been held on the Wednesday evening before the holiday). Participation in the new parade became by invitation only, and Bob Barker, fresh from his farewell tapings as host of The Price is Right, was that year's Parade Grand Marshal.