The Hollywood Christmas Parade (formerly the Hollywood Santa Parade or Santa Claus Lane Parade) is an annual parade that takes place on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in the Hollywood community in Los Angeles, California, United States. The parade follows a 3.5-mile route along Sunset Boulevard and features various celebrities among its participants. Beginning in 1928, Hollywood merchants transformed a one-mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard into "Santa Claus Lane" to boost shopping. Part of the promotion was a daily parade featuring Santa Claus and a film star. 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 LegionPost 43 marched with a color guard, drum line and bugle corps. The Parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 due to World War II, but reopened in 1945 with record attendance. In 1946 Gene Autry rode his horse in the parade and was inspired by the children yelling "Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus," to write the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" along with Oakley Haldeman. Autry would become a perennial Grand Marshal of the parade.
The parade continued to grow throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, adding floats, animals, bands and celebrities. 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 Autry and Johnny Grant. This change also coincided with a shift in the parade's scheduling from Thanksgiving Eve to the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Runtime: 120 minutes
Hollywood Christmas Parade - Here Comes Santa Claus - Netflix
“Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)” is a Christmas song originally written and performed by Gene Autry, with music composed by Oakley Haldeman. Autry's original version was a top-10 hit on the pop and country charts; the song would go on to be covered many times in the subsequent decades. Autry got the idea for the song after riding his horse in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade (now the Hollywood Christmas Parade) in Los Angeles, during which crowds of spectators chanted, “Here comes Santa Claus”. This inspired him to write a song that Haldeman set to music. Autry's lyrics combined two veins of the Christmas tradition, the mythology of Santa Claus and the Christian origin of the holiday (most explicitly in its mention of the nativity promise of “peace on Earth”). A demo recording was made by singer/guitarist Johnny Bond, whose recording made use of ice cubes to mimic the sound of the jingling sleigh-bells. This inspired the use of real sleigh-bells in Autry's own recording of the song. Autry first recorded the song in 1947; released as a single by Columbia Records, it became a #5 country and #9 pop hit, although in it he pronounced Santa Claus as “Santy Claus”. Autry performed the song in his 1949 movie The Cowboy and the Indians. He re-recorded it again for Columbia in 1953 and once more for his own Challenge Records label in 1957. Other artists to record the song include Doris Day (1949), Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (recorded May 10, 1949), Elvis Presley (1957), the Ray Conniff Singers (1959), Keely Smith (1960), Alvin and the Chipmunks (1961), Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (1963), Hank Thompson (1964), in excerpt by The Beach Boys as part of their song “Child of Winter” (1974), Willie Nelson (1979), Glen Campbell, RuPaul, The Wiggles (1997), Billy Idol (2006), Bob Dylan (2009), Mariah Carey (2010), Chicago (2011), and the cast of Glee (2013). In 1988, “Here Comes Santa Claus” was featured in Very Merry Christmas Songs which is part of the Disney Sing Along Songs collection.