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Mario Lopez to lead Hollywood Christmas Parade

HOLLYWOOD — The 88th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, featuring Marine Toys for Tots, will be led this year by “Access Hollywood” host Mario Lopez and his family, who will serve as grand marshals.

The parade will make its 3.2-mile trek through the streets of Hollywood at 6 p.m. Dec. 1.

The parade is produced by Associated Television and presented in association with the city of Los Angeles.

The parade will be hosted by Erik Estrada, Laura McKenzie, Dean Cain, Montel Williams and co-host Elizabeth Stanton.

Thirteen award-winning bands from around the country will be featured in this year’s parade. 

They include: the San Diego Marine Band with U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard led by drum major Gunnery Sgt. James Dempsey, the Liberty High School Grenadier Band from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; the Oak Park High School Marching Northmen from Kansas City, Missouri; the East Coweta High School Marching Indians from Sharpsburg, Georgia; the Pendleton Heights High School Marching Arabians from Pendleton, Indiana; the Gadsden Elementary School District Marching Band from San Luis, Arizona; Lyman High School Marching Greyhounds Band from Longwood, Florida; the Korean American Youth Performing Artists from Chino, the Riverview High School Kiltie Band from Sarasota, Florida; PAVA World Traditional Korean Band from Los Angeles; the Porterville High School Panther Band from Porterville, California; the Joyful China band from West Covina and Beijing, China; and the Los Angeles Catholic Schools Band from Torrance.

Among the political dignitaries and celebrities appearing in the parade are Los Angels Mayor Eric Garcetti, 

City Councilmen Mitch O’Farrell and David Ryu, cast members from television’s “General Hospital” and “The Young and the Restless,” a 35-year reunion of the cast of “Charles in Charge,” and many more. 

The parade will end with the much-awaited arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer, ushering in the holiday season, accompanied by his U.S. Marine Corps escorts, Staff Sgt. Johan Rodriguez and Gunnery Sgt. Justin Block.

A pre-parade concert will begin the festivities at 5 p.m. in the streets of Hollywood. Among those scheduled to perform are Bret Michaels, Gary Beers and Toby Rand of Ashen Moon; Jesse Y Joy; David Archuleta, the Band of Merrymakes; James Maslow; Dionne Warwick, Ace Young and Diane Degarmo; the Bank of Harmony barbershop quartet; Phil Vassar, Brandon Jenner, and Shelea.

The parade will premiere as a two-hour primetime special on the CW Network at 8 p.m. Dec. 13. It also will air on the Hallmark Channel and American Forces Network. 

Independent Staff Report