Highland Park Xmas Parade


Since I got a personal invitation to check out the Highland Park Christmas Parade by Walt, I tried my hardest to arrive early to snag front row seats, so of course I got there late. Who’s ever heard of a Mexican being on time? Any that do are fucking it up for the rest of us. I think the last time I was at the HLP Xmas parade was when then mayor Richard Riordan had his goons close in on me for inspection: I was the only one booing Riordan and giving him a thumbs down, he retaliated by grinning at me with that fake ass smile and brandishing two thumbs up, thus I upped the ante and gave him two middle fingers. That grin came to an end quick! Yup, that’s a true story, I don’t take for granted my right to heckle. Ah, good times. No such excitement at this years parade though, click ahead to see how it all went down!

(Warning! Warning! Lots and lots of pics ahead, click now before your supervisor shows up!) (Advertencia: Muchisisimas fotos al otro lado del brinco!)


I could blame the traffic on Marmion Way for my tardiness, but that would be a lie. Although here at B.LA we are known for our awesome lies, thus I blame it on Marmion the mentirosa.


After finding a super secret parking space, we walked over to Figueroa. Looked like this ROTC crew had finished their marching duties. Last time I did a review of the Lincoln Heights parade I got a terse email from the LH ROTC captain for captioning a photo “have fun in Iraq.” So I’m not going to do that here.


Chico’s succumbs to ALZA. Should I share the story of why I stopped eating here? I’ll do you a favor and keep it to myself.


Late and all, but I made it! The first group I see are from Burbank.


A guy in a car waves at the crowd. I don’t get it.


Look, Judy Chu of the State Board of Equalization! The front windshield of the car reads ‘Top Off’, so I yelled “take your top off!” but nothing happened. Hmm, I don’t get this either.


The only horsies I saw in the parade, though they didn’t do any horsing around, they just walked in a straight line.


There’s a break in the parade, these folks took the opportunity to cross the street. I joined them.


Looks like I had lots of time to cross the street, the rest of the parade is nowhere in sight.


As we wait, a horn vendor goes by.


As does an elotera.


The “reel” cowboys cruise by on a float.


One stopped by for a photo op.


These two payasos joined the parade of their own accord, hoisting big gulps and waving to the crowd.


And while we wait for the next parade feature, another ambulante strolls by.


And then another.


Cheerleaders pose for a photo.


Folks from the Hermon Dog Park bring their pets. I didn’t see any pet cats or chickens on this parade, that’s discrimination!


“Santa Paws Squad.” See, Paws kinda sounds like Claus. Must be the handiwork of a striking writer.


I don’t know or care about whomever was riding in this gas guzzler. Boo, hiss!


What happened to the parade? Turned out this would be the most common sight: long stretches of nothing.


Hey! Cars!

A short clip of the cars and lowrider bikes. YouTube killed the quality, but you can still make out when the kid hopping on his bike loses his front fender!


And then…more waiting.


Some chose to kill time by getting a bacon-wrapped hot dog at one of the mobile gastro-pubs. Meaning, bring your booze in a paper bag.


What the?!? The parade is now going in reverse!


Since there was a huge gap til’ the next feature, it was nice to see the horses return to make their exit.


These two payasas also made an impromptu appearance, and their megaphone was spouting wisdom about some baker named Jesus, all I caught was something about him rising the bread. What’s the big deal?


The absolute best part of the HLP parade were these crazy unnamed clowns.

I expect to wake up in a cold sweat later tonight with the nightmare of multi-colored clowns dancing to the Chingo Bells song.

Watch as they dance off into the sunset on a lonely street. Disconcerting!


Some Buddhists also took part in the parade. They even have a 3 letter url, score!


The Peace Truck.


A banner for Gandhi, and right behind them I finally get some recognition. ‘Viva Chavo’, Orale!


Hey, wait a minute…there’s a misspelling! That must be what happened. Thanks anyways. Sniff.


And here come the Churchies!


Eternal salvation leads to eternal smiles.


This guy must be the one that deliberately woke me up last Saturday to ask if I’ve heard the “good news”, hence the sinister smile. Letting me sleep in on the weekend is the best news he could ever deliver.


I can’t tell what happened from my spot, but it looks like the one payasa Christian gets a scolding by another Christian, as she walks away with her hands in the horns sign. OK.

Check out the singing abilities of the scolder. Compared to the East Los parade, this one was seriously lacking in music and marching bands. Dude screaming in spiritual euphoria does not make for a good parade.


The guy in the green hat gave me a very friendly “Merry Christmas” and I responded in kind, I ain’t no grinch.


Sure he can juggle while on a 15 ft unicycle, but can he skip to the next chapter of the Harry Potter audio book on his ipod without dropping the pins? 5 bucks sez it ain’t gonna happen.

Look Ma, one foot! Why are unicyclists always such showoffs?


The guy in the white shirt was making up some bogus left-right-left marching drill, it was that obvious.


After he finished the parade, he came back to hand me and the crowd one of these flyers. Ah, he’s that kind of soldier.


Peace in the North East, that’s kinda clever.


This isn’t. GANG = God’s Anointed Now Generation. How about Generally Annoying Neighbors about God? You can have it.


Almost like the Weinermobile, just more weenie like: Introducing the M.A.N. Insurance Agency mobile!


Ahh, I like whimsy.


Colorful group of folklorico dancers. I’ve tried 5 different times to upload a short clip of them to youtube but they keep rejecting it, I don’t know why. They must hate the baby Mexicans.


Who needs a float when you can just ride on a boat?


There were lots of bored looking faces on the parade route, this girl seemed happy to do her part. A round of applause to her!


This is the guy that picked up his friends fender earlier in the parade. His stereo system was actually quite nice; loud, booming, and clean. Not like my piece of crap with blown out speakers that jitters the trunk as I blast Larry “Mr. Boring” Mantle in the morning to get back at my neighbors: All out war against the KOST listener! I will out bore you!


Oh boy, here comes the celebrities! Who will it be?


It’s Omar and Argelia from KLoVE 107.5 fm, which I don’t listen to since they got rid of Humberto Luna. Bring back the Lunaticos!


Some sort of nerd rock.


This kid in the black shirt was the MC. He was courageously reading thru the pre-written text, and did as well as you’d expect a kid to do. That being said, they should have had one of the local loud mouths to do this part.


A truck for some sort of ABC Mambo had this fine sign: “ABC’s singing, while Have fun learning!” Keep your kids away.


Your guess is as good as mine.


And then, another moment of nothing. The crowd was getting restless.


Some took to throwing smoke balls into the street. It was a welcome distraction.


The St. Vincent’s delivery truck made an appearance. There was a faint buzz of excitement as the sprinkling of hipsters recognized their favorite fashion outlet. The local winos also stood to salute their favorite fashion outlet.


Woot! More smoke bombs!


Here’s where the collective wave of ‘huh?’ started. It ended in complete confusion. Sorry Shane Vanian Actor, we temporarily forgot about you.


Oh Joy! The Mobile Clinic!


More incendiary boredom repellents. Next time, bring a higher dose.


Thumbs up to the lil’ protesters trying to stop the looting of the South West museum.


I’m down with their cause. There is something terribly wrong with a cowboy museum taking over the fine collection of the SWM.


And yet another long break between the “action”. The crowd goes onto the street to see if they can spot what’s coming up next. Me, I’ve had enough of this waiting game, and I’m frankly bored with this less than festive parade. No music, no school bands, very few dancers, I’ve got fingers that need twiddling somewhere else.


Doesn’t look like Santa is about to show up, I’m outta here.


On my way out, it seemed like the rest of the crowd was also debating if they should just skip the rest of it. And from all the people I saw walking to their cars, it seems others had seen enough as well. I wish I could have stayed but I’m no martyr, I’ll leave that to the baker.


And next week is the Lincoln Heights parade. I think I have a problem.

23 thoughts on “Highland Park Xmas Parade”

  1. El Chavo you do the best recaps of events. This one is no different. Damn…”take your top off” and no reaction? Damn, what has the world come to, oh I forgot this isn’t Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

    You wanna come up to our Holiday Parade on Th? We could use some good heckling. I’m a rank amateur and my best efforts get nary a reaction, maybe a pro could help liven things up.

  2. Awesome as usual, though this did not put me in the holiday spirit like your previous parade profile… but I certainly want a bacon-wrapped hot dog right NOW.

  3. Oh man, thanks for the laughs…I lost at the St. Vincent truck description.

    I had planned on taking the kids over there, but my husband hates parades due to living in Communist Romania (I guess they were forced to see a lot of parades) and I decided that pulling up the grass on my lawn would be easier than dealing with two toddlers at a parade. I’m kinda glad I missed it.

  4. No really, we DO want to know about Chico’s… or should I just stop going there and not worry why?

    I didn’t try to leave my house on Sunday – I had no idea this was going on, but I’m sure glad I avoided the traffic, and you covered the parade enough that I don’t feel like I missed anything!

  5. DAMN!

    You missed the Bike Oven hippies! The best part of the parade El Chavo. I know because I was riding a rickshaw with three people hanging off the back in the parade.

  6. @MMMMMMMMICHAEL: The clown video was hilarious! I laughed, but I’m in so much pain from working in my yard, that I had to close it. I just showed my husband the whole thing and and started laughing again.

  7. Fabooj,
    I’m glad you liked it, it’s my unconventional way of spreading holiday cheer.

    We’re you all at the front or the back of the parade? Too bad I missed you, I’m sure I’d have something to say about you bike lovin’ hippies! ;)

  8. great job, el chavo! i’m in lincoln heights and never seen the parade. is it worth it? looks like it goes down broadway. what are the beginning and ending streets?
    thanks for the fabulous post!

  9. The LH parade isn’t the most fun thing in the world, but I like to go just to hang out with the neighbors. I have 2005 and 2006 archived at this link here.

    I don’t know the exact start/finish of the route, I just head to Broadway. See ya there!

  10. LH parade info:
    12/9/2007. 11am to approximately 1pm. Broadway to Avenue 24. At Griffin there will be an announcer. Behind the Bank of America will be a celebration with food, presents, Santa, and snow. Lineup is on Lincoln Park Ave between the DMV and Broadway for those wanting to see what coming down.

  11. This is a real parade. It looks like a community event not some corporate sponsored vomit put in the shape of a parade. Next year I may even go to a parade. I haven’t been to a parade since the Hollywood Xmas Parade started getting so odd all of my friends refused to come with me. There’s nothing more sad than standing in the cold at a parade by yourself, especially if it’s already the sad and pathetic Hollywood Xmas parade.


  12. Bummer we didn’t go this year. My daughters love the red headed boy from choo choo soul – Shane Vanian.

  13. sorry. didn’t mean to be that adamant. and funny how i chose “tell us” over “please share” don’t cha think? ((((sheepish))))

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