On November 29th, the scene was festive and filled with hordes of people for the 84th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on Hollywood and Highland. Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie hosted an extravaganza that saw a little bit of everything—from gigantic floats to even an unfortunate bomb scare. Despite that, thankfully the event went on without a hitch, delighting hordes of people, whose hearts were warmed in the cold, low 50s weather. And yes, for better or worse, that temperature is shiveringly chilly for Southern Californians.
There was also an “American Idol” reunion of sorts, as Taylor Hicks, Ruben Studdard, Ace Young, Chris Daughtry, and Clay Aiken were on hand for concert festivities. They were all aware of each other’s presence, too, and were happy to mingle with one another again.
“It’s nice seeing my buddies after so long. It feels good to have a little ‘Idol’ reunion like this,” remarked Taylor Hicks.
“It is really great to hang out with some of my old friends again,” said Studdard.
“Jane the Virgin” stars Ivonne Coll and Brett Dier were also there for the parade. Coll, who is of Puerto Rican heritage was very cognizant of the ethnic melting pot that the parade has historically celebrated and stood for in Southern California.
“It is very important for me to connect with Hispanic families in Los Angeles. I am proud to do my part to represent them because cultural diversity is very important,” confided Coll. Suffice it to say, the parade did a wonderful job of representing the tradition of many cultures, including the Chinese, Koreans, Mexicans, and so forth.
Others like former “Entertainment Tonight” anchor Mark Steines and vocalist Mark McGrath were equally happy to be there and offered a different, humorous view about the parade and Christmas specifically.
“The parade can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s nothing like my experience the first year [of doing this] when my kids thought I was the mayor,” giggled Steines.
“[While the parade is great], I’m just looking forward to my five-year-old twins running down the stairs on Christmas to open their gifts without tripping,” joked McGrath.
Though there was nearly every float imaginable—like Gumby, Dumbo, and Tom & Jerry— and every cool vintage car (e.g., the batmobile) or magnificent horse on display, the overall highlight of the parade may have been Grumpy Cat. The fascinating feline was very much unlike the masses of enthralled people in the sense that it was, simply put, hilariously unfazed by the Christmas spirit.
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