Los Angeles Holiday Parades

Photo courtesy of sfPhotocraft, Flickr

Everyone loves a parade, and in Los Angeles you can welcome Santa when his sled lands in Hollywood or watch a procession of colorfully decorated boats of all shapes and sizes.

HOLLYWOOD CHRISTMAS PARADE (NOV. 30, 2014)

Photo courtesy of Hollywood Christmas Parade, Facebook

Every year, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Santa Claus arrives in Tinseltown along with floats, celebrities, and marching bands along Hollywood Boulevard. The 83rd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade takes place on Sunday, Nov. 30 beginning at 5 p.m. The Grand Marshal is legendary musician Stevie Wonder, one of the most celebrated and prominent figures in popular music. The parade is once again hosted by Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie, with celebrity guest hosts Dean Cain and Montel Williams. Starting on Hollywood Boulevard at Orange, the U-shaped parade route travels east to Vine, south on Vine to Sunset, and back to Orange. There are numerous places to watch the parade for free along the route, or you can purchase grandstand seats, which start at $45 each. Group discounts are available. Only grandstand ticket holders will have access to the pre-parade concert, featuring Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind & Fire, Heart, Richie Sambora and more.

Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade (Dec. 6, 2014)

Photo courtesy of The Port of Los Angeles, Facebook

Celebrating its 52nd year with the theme of “Holiday Treasures,” the Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat marks the beginning of the holiday season for harbor boaters, the surrounding communities of Wilmington, San Pedro, and the beach cities of the South Bay. This year’s Grand Marshal is Gabriela Medina, Council District 15 Field Deputy, aboard the M/V Triumphant. Officials and community leaders take part in the parade as judges or passengers on dozens of parade boats. Vessels of all shapes and sizes participate, including powerboats, sailboats, tall ships, and harbor working craft. The Holiday Afloat Parade starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 in the East Basin Channel of the Port of Los Angeles. Thousands of spectators watch the mile-long procession from public viewing stations along the route, including the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and Ports O’ Call Village.

Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade (Dec. 7, 2014)

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce and the San Pedro Historic Waterfront Business Improvement District present the 34th Annual Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade on Sunday, Dec. 7. The parade takes place from 1-3 p.m. in Historic Downtown San Pedro. Thousands line the parade route each year to cheer on the bands, drill teams, schools and non-profit organizations, elected officials and celebrities as they make their way through downtown San Pedro. The parade begins at the corner of 13th Street and Pacific Avenue, goes north along Pacific to 6th Street, turns east and proceeds along 6th Street to the disbanding area at Liberty Plaza - 5th and Palos Verdes Streets. This intersection is also the drop-off and pick-up area for participants.

King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade (DEC. 13, 2014)

The 23rd Annual King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade takes place on Saturday, Dec. 13. The Grand Marshall this year is NBC Weathercaster Fritz Coleman. The parade theme is “King Harbor Lights,” which is sure to inspire creative entries for the boats and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) as they compete for one of 16 awards.The SUP parade starts at 4:30 p.m. and the boats follow at 5:30 p.m. The entire harbor along Harbor Drive lights up with festively decorated boats and SUPs parading sparkling, colored lights and holiday decorations. The nautical parade is free and can be seen from many of the pier or marina restaurants, or along the break wall.

Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade (Dec. 13, 2014)

Photo courtesy of Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, Facebook

Now in its 52nd year, the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade kicks off at 5:55pm with a traditional fireworks display, followed by the parade itself from 6-8 p.m., rain or shine. The parade boats circle the Marina’s main channel several times as spectators watch from popular viewing spots like Burton Chace Park, Fisherman's Village and other waterfront venues. As in previous years, the parade boats will be judged on Saturday evening.

Experience an unforgettable view of the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade from the deck of a festively-decorated Hornblower Cruises & Events yacht. The Hornblower Holiday Boat Parade Dinner Cruise includes a boarding glass of champagne, cash bar, four-course seated dinner and DJ. Boarding is at 5 p.m. and the cruise is from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $104 per person, $93.60 for Seniors/Military, and children ages 4-12 are $62.40.

126th ROSE PARADE (JAN. 1, 2015)

City of Los Angeles float in the 2014 Rose Parade
City of Los Angeles float in the 2014 Rose Parade | Photo courtesy of Prayitno, Discover L.A. Flickr group

With the theme of “Inspiring Stories," the 126th Rose Parade is taking place on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring spectacular floral floats, marching bands from across the country, and high-stepping equestrian units. The late Louis Zamperini, an Olympian and World War II prisoner of war, was named the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Rose Parade. Despite Zamperini's passing, the Tournament of Roses is dedicated to honoring this true American hero as Grand Marshal. Tickets for reserved grandstand seating are priced from $48 to $95. Curbside viewing is also available on a first-come, first-served basis.