7 Local Christmas Parades

BY: KALEIGH LAURINO & BRANDI JOHNSON

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Christmas parade season is just around the corner and there will be quite a few parades going on in Long Beach and throughout Southern California. Let's take a sneak peek on what’s coming up. Hollywood Christmas Parade | Dec. 1

The famous Hollywood Christmas Parade on Dec.1 has been a tradition for 82 years. Since its creation in 1928, the star studded parade has included celebrities like Peter Fonda, Cecil B.DeMille, Natalie Wood and countless of others. Since the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is no longer producing the parade, Jim Romanovichpresident of Worldwide Media for Associated Television International will be producing the live parade. This year, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, will appear as grand marshal in the parade. Seal Beach Parade | Dec. 5

Another parade celebrating the holiday season is presented by Seal Beach on Main Street. Families and viewers of all ages are welcomed to join the massive crowd to watch marching bands, Girl and Boy Scout troops, and a special drum group. Sunscreen and a wetsuit will not be needed to enjoy the “Surf, Sand and Santa” theme. Decorated floats will do their best to bring the sunshine to the chilly Christmas weather. This family friendly parade starts promptly at 7pm and runs until 8:30pm. If you want to get a front row seat to see the decorated floats, get there early because this parade attracts large crowds.

Belmont Shore Parade | Dec. 7

Belmont Shore will be hosting its 31st annual Christmas Parade on December 7th, and will honor our troops and veterans in remembrance of Pearl Harbor. Presented by “Chill”, a Queen Mary attraction sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, this Christmas by the sea is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit. Whether you’re camping out with your family or just stopping by with friends, the parade is sure to be a good time for everyone.

The Belmont Shore Christmas Parade will be marching down East Second Street to over 100 parade entries including floats and marching bands from local Long Beach schools and businesses. This year’s Grand Marshal is Long Beach’s Third District Councilmember Gary Delong. The Belmont Shore business association is honoring him for his two-terms in the Third District. New Port Bay's Boat Parade | Dec. 1 through 6 

With over 100 years of history, Newport Bay brings holiday spirit to over one million people each year with its magical boat parade. The New York Times named the Newport Bay’s Boat Parade“one of the top 10 holiday happenings in the nation.” Hundreds of yachts, boats and other watercrafts participate in this legendary boat parade. This parade not only features decorated boats, though, as the the neighborhood comes alive with decorated homes, docks and lawns to get everyone in the holiday spirit. There are five ships that offer cruises for viewers to get a closer look at the illuminated bay, but if you want to camp out with a crowd, you can settle alongside the bay and enjoy the boats floating by one-by-one.

This five-night parade starts on the December 1st. If you are looking to rent a boat for you and your friends, start now because this historic parade sells out quick.

Daisy Lane Parade | Dec. 13 through 28  The Daisy Lane Christmas Parade is the longest running Christmas parade in Long Beach, and will host its 60th annual parade from Dec. 13-28th.

Located in the Wrigley District, Christmas Tree Lane (CATL) started in 1953 by Gertrude B. Whittle, who had dreams of lighting up Daisy Avenue into a winter wonderland. Whittle went on to petition the City Council and Council of Churches to remove railroad tracks that center Daisy Ave. Her dream became a reality when the street became a Christmas Village with houses, shops, trees with lights and a church with a nativity scene. This started the tradition of Christmas Tree Lane which still goes on today. A few years later, the Christmas parade was added.

Throughout the years, Christmas Tree Lane has attracted thousands of people. Since 2007 the Wrigley Area Neighborhood Alliance (WANA) has dedicated its time organizing events, along with the help from city employees and volunteers to put together Christmas Tree lane and the parade.

District 7 chief of staff Michael Clements said the senate elected officials and the mayor usually make an appearance in the parade. Holiday events will include a tree lighting and home decorating contest, musical performances, photos with Santa Claus and snow day.

Shore Line Yacht Club | Dec. 14

Located along Long Beach’s shoreline, the Shore Line Yacht Club will host its 31st annual Parade of a thousand Lights Christmas Boat Parade on Dec. 14th. This year’s theme will be Sand, Surf and Santa. The themed decorated boats will start outside Shoreline Marina, circle near the beach, then enter Shoreline Marina where boats are then judged by non-yacht club members.

Since the boat parade’s beginnings in 1982, it has been growing in popularity in both its participants and its audience. 35 boats are expected to be in the parade, an increase of 5 from last year. Each year, one of the Long Beach Rescue Boats leads the parade with a volunteer US Coast Guard Auxiliary boat that follows the parade for control purposes. They are considered the “Grand Marshals” each year.

Huntington Beach's Cruise of Lights | Dec. 14

Huntington Beach gets into the Christmas spirit with a giving-back attitude. Traveling a little farther down the coast, Huntington Harbor, sponsored by the Philharmonic, will put on its 51st annualCruise of Lights boat parade for all to enjoy the sparkling boats and house lights throughout the harbor. Chosen by the parade’s Grand Marshall Bill Wheeler, this year’s theme will be “Music Around the World.” Viewers can expect a wide set of themes and motifs for expert-like decorated boats and houses.

Starting December 14th, the famous boat parade floats through one of Orange County’s most premiere neighborhoods exploring theme decorated mansions and boats along the way. For $17, viewers can enjoy a 45-minute boat cruise narrated with festive holiday music.

Proceeds from the Cruise of Lights Boat Parade will help support the Youth Music Education Programs. According to the Philharmonic, “these programs offer a wide variety of age-appropriate music experiences that supplement and enhance public and private school curriculum.” Also, 10 percent of the proceeds will go directly back to the schools in the Huntington Community.