It’s that time of the year again: no, not shopping, or acceptance of Christmas creep, or holiday countdowns. No, it’s the Hollywood Christmas Parade, an annual event whose existence inexplicably strikes me as odd every year. Larry King leads the parade down Hollywood Boulevard at 6pm, but the road closures start early and they’ll last all day. The LAFD has a handy map of the road closures (click on the image to biggify); if you’re more textual than visual, the Hollywood Christmas Parade’s website bullet-points it out for you:
- Hollywood Blvd. from LaBrea to Orange at 6:00 AM. Re-open at 10:00 PM.
- Hawthorne Ave., DeLongpre Ave., Fountain Ave. from LaBrea to Highland Ave. at 1:00 PM. Re-opening at 9:00 PM.
- El Cerrito Place from Hollywood Blvd. to Franklin Ave. at 1:00 PM. Re-open at 8:00 PM.
- Sycamore, Orange from Franklin Ave. to Fountain at 1:00 PM. Re-open at 9:00 PM.
- Sunset Blvd. from LaBrea Ave. to Highland Ave. at 1:00 PM. Re-open at 10:00 PM.
- East side of LaBrea from Hollywood Blvd. to Sunset Blvd. at 4:00 PM. Re-open at 7:00 PM.
- Highland Ave. from Franklin Ave. to Santa Monica at 4:00 PM. Re-open at 9:00 PM.
- Hollywood Blvd. from Highland Ave. to Gower at 4:00 PM. Re-open at 9:00 PM.
- Vine Street from Franklin Ave. to Santa Monica at 4:00 PM. Re-open at 9:00 PM.
- Sunset Blvd. from Highland Ave. to Gower at 4:00 PM. Re-open at 9:00PM.
- Sunset Blvd. From Highland to La Brea at 3:00 PM. Reopen at 10:00 PM
There are so many holiday activities going on this weekend. How does one choose? I recommend going where you find the highest concentration of holiday fun, and on Saturday that is going to be in Echo Park.
Saturday at noon you’ll find Grand Marshall Bob Baker leading the annual Echo Park Holiday Parade down Sunset Boulevard. The parade will also feature local high school marching bands, dance troupes, and other surprises. I have it on good authority that the L.A. Derby Dolls will be skating in the parade. I’d bet there will be an appearance by a certain white bearded man in a festive red holiday suit, as well.
The parade is only part of what’s happening, though. Local businesses have decided to stretch the fun all day long with the Echo Park Holiday Shop Hop. The parade may begin at noon, but other festivities start as early as 10:00am and will go on until 2:00am. Many businesses will be offering specials throughout the day, as well as various performances and workshops.
My favorite Echo Park business, 826LA, will have things going on all day long. There will be free gifts with purchase at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart. They will also be accepting donations to support the great programs they offer; if you donate $5 (or more,) you’ll get a book written by Echo Park kids. I’ve read their work, and it’s really good.
At 3pm 826LA will present “A Guy Walks Into an 826LA…,” a stand-up comedy performance by 826LA students. At 8pm, it’s “Dead Author Readings with Charles Dickens.”
This is only the beginning. Get complete details of special offers from local merchants, activities, performances and donations for local charities at the Echo Park Holiday Shop Hop page.
This Saturday, December 12, get yourself to Echo Park and get all of your holiday fun and shopping in one place.