HOLLYWOOD — Four former grand marshals of the Hollywood Christmas Parade — Mickey Mouse, Larry King, Lou Gossett Jr. and Robert Wagner — will return to help celebrate this year’s historic 85th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, kicking off with a pre-parade all-star concert at 5 p.m.
Olivia Newton-John will serve at this year’s grand marshal and will also participate in the concert, which also will include Cyndi Lauper, Kenny G, War, Eric Benét, Scotty McCreery, the Empty Hearts and the Band of Merrymakers.
Other celebrities who will appear in the parade include actor Lou Ferrigno; Mark Steines and Debbie Matenopoulos, the hosts of Hallmark Channel’s “Home And Family;” KOST 103.5 FM’s Mark Wallengren; “Lethal Weapon” star Keesha Sharp; Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker.
The parade also will feature members of the casts of “Days of Our Lives,” “The Bold and The Beautiful,” “The Young and The Restless;” “Black-ish;” “Fresh Off The Boat” and “Wish for Christmas.”
U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff; and City Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and David E. Ryu also will ride in the parade along with Lt. General Pete Osman, president and CEO of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation; a sponsor and benefactor of the parade.
The parade also will include 17 marching bands from throughout the country, six equestrian units, 22 inflatable character balloons and five floats; the last of which will feature Santa Claus.
The parade is presented and produced by Associated Television International, in association with the city of Los Angeles.
The live parade, taped for network television broadcasts, will travel along a 3.2 mile U-shaped route starting at Orange Street and Hollywood Boulevard traveling east on Hollywood Boulevard to Vine Street, turning south on Vine Street to Sunset Boulevard, and then turning west on Sunset Boulevard traveling back to Orange Street.
Free curbside seating will be available along the parade route, starting at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, continuing along the rest of the parade route on Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard.
The live parade and telecasts will be hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain and Montel Williams, with special co-hosts Elizabeth Stanton and Garrett Clayton.
The parade will be broadcast as a two-hour primetime special on the CW Network Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. It will be rebroadcast on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel Dec. 21 at 3 p.m.
The parade, which features the Marine Toys for Tots program, and is essential in providing gifts to less fortunate children everywhere particularly during the holiday season, will also air to more than one million American servicemen and women worldwide on American Forces Network.
An American tradition, the parade annually attracts more than one million in attendance, and features larger than life inflatable character balloons, award-winning bands, colorful equestrians, ornate floats, popular characters/novelties, celebrity filled cars and, of course, Santa Claus.