The 88th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, which took place Sunday, Dec. 1 but is airing nationally on Friday (Dec. 13), boasts five hosts, dozens of performers and bands, and Mario Lopez and his family as the 2019 grand marshals. Here’s what you need to know about the performances, hosts, balloons, and more.
There’s something for everyone this year at the parade — rock stars, Broadway, a children’s troupe and several American Idol alums.
Performers include Bret Michaels, the Hollywood cast of Rock of Ages, Shawn Wayans and children’s troupe the Boo Crew, Jesse & Joy, Dionne Warwick, Farrell Dillon, Brandon Jenner, AshenMoon, Brandon Rogers, Mai Wynn, Shelea, James Maslow, Phil Vassar, and American Idol finalists Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo, Mikalah Gordon, and David Archuleta.
There will also be two equestrian teams, 14 marching bands and drill teams, nearly a dozen giant helium balloons that include the Cat in the Hat, a toy soldier, elves, a gingerbread man, Frosty the Snowman, and a pirate and his treasure, plus an appearance by Santa Claus himself.
For the 11th year in a row, the Hollywood Christmas Parade will be hosted by TV personality Laura McKenzie and actor Erik Estrada. These two have actually been friends for over 25 years — McKenzie is godmother to his daughter, Francesca, who is 19. Estrada also revealed last year that one year back in the day he was chosen to be the grand marshal — “It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun.”
Actor Dean Cain will be joining Estrada and McKenzie in what is his 10th year hosting the parade; and TV personalities Montel Williams and Elizabeth Stanton are joining them in their ninth year hosting.
Actor and Access Hollywood host Mario Lopez was asked to be the 2019 grand marshal, which he says is “very exciting” and that he knows “the kids are going to have a great time.” He’ll be joined by wife Courtney and children Gia, 9, Dominic, 6, and baby Santino, who was born in July 2019.
Hollywood Christmas Parade Charity
The parade raises funds that go to benefit the Marines Toys for Tots holiday charity campaign. The parade’s Santa Claus, a man named Tim Connaghan who has been with the parade for over 15 years, has been declared the “national Santa” by the Toys for Tots organization.
“I donate my time, services and resources to this highly recognized program,” writes Santa on his website. “This includes photo sessions and public appearances for T4T marketing, special toy distributions in areas of national disasters, attendance at T4T’s Annual Coordinator’s Conference and any other tasks they ask me to do. Additionally, with a network of over 2,500 Santas across America, I try to link local Santas to any of the over 800+ regional campaigns in the U.S., the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. For more details on Toys for Tots, or to make a donation, please visit their web site: www.ToysforTots.org.”
The festivities, which were pre-recorded on Dec. 1, air Friday, Dec. 13, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.
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