Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Hollywood Christmas Parade Is Back On Thanks To The Hollywood City Council!

Why is it that when Los Angeles has some good news to tell, it's a news snippet on the 5PM news on Telemundo or a sidebar in the friggin' newspaper? Well, we've got some good new about a longstanding Hollywood Tradition that was saved from demise by, yes, the Los Angeles City Council! Holy crap! The LA city Council did something good and right for once. Stop the presses! So what is the good news?

Although the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce gave up on the parade, the Los Angeles City Council voted to sponsor the holiday event. That's right. It's back! The name has been changed to the "Hollywood Santa Parade" (sort of a throwback to the early days when it was the "Santa Claus Lane Parade") because the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce who couldn't raise enough money to get a Starbuck's coffee, owns the "Hollywood Christmas Parade" name. They haven't yet named a grand marshall, and I don't know yet if the route will stay the same, but the Christmas parade will definitely take place on November 25, 2007, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

On March 21, 2007, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which staged the Christmas Parade each year, announced that there would never be another Hollywood Christmas Parade. The 2007 parade had been canceled and now hundreds of would-be Santa theives had to be, borrow and steal to get a few bucks for that fifth of Bourbon because their main source of income, tourists, was gone!

The Christmas parade costs about a million dollars to stage, and because of a lack of sponsors, effort, and ad revenue, they lost $100,000 on the 2006 parade, and projections indicated that losses would be double that if a 2007 parade were held - so they canceled the 2007 parade, and announced "We're disappointed and sad. But we're out of the parade business."

A week later, a guy dressed like Santa Claus and a small, ragtag group of supporters marched down Hollywood Blvd protesting the end of the parade, and trying to encourage the city to save the event. Greg Durfee said his campaign would focus on finding major sponsors willing to underwrite the parade, preferably for a 10-year period. "We're not taking any donations" he said, "We want people to e-mail companies like Coca-Cola and Paramount Pictures. No details were released about his efforts or the corporate sponsorship.

My hat is off to the concerned citizens who spearheaded this effort and to the L.A. City Council for putting up some of the money to save this year's Hollywood Christmas Parade after the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce canceled it earlier this year. Hopefully, additional funding is supposed to come from sponsors and the community. Like I said before, the parade will take place the Sunday after Thanksgiving. There's no word on whether L.A. will continue to pick up the tab for the parade in the years to come but maybe our good Mayor Tony V. could dress up his little Mistress and have her dress in a sexy little elf costume to help raise the corporate donations. At least then she wouldn't have to cover cow crap fires in San Bernardino county! Good job City Council. You've done what the business community in Hollywood couldn't!