Community gets ready for annual Christmas Parade

File photo by Leonard COUTIN Santa makes his traditional visit first in a helicopter fly over, then bringing up the end of the Monorose Christmas Parade in a Glendale Fire engine.

By Brandon HENSLEY

While it is about time for “A Christmas Story” and the Grinch to invade TV sets across the country, the time is almost here for Crescenta Valley residents to once again take part in an event where Santa Claus comes early, only he’s in a helicopter instead of a sleigh.

Yes, the Montrose Christmas Parade is almost here. The parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 6:15 p.m.

Steve Pierce, who serves on the board of directors for the CV Chamber of Commerce and is the parade coordinator, said this year will bring new faces to Honolulu Avenue, as well as a whole bunch of horses.

Laffit Pincay Jr., the legendary retired jockey will be the parade’s grand marshal. Pierce said Pincay Jr, who lives in Shadow Hills, was very honored and excited to be selected.

“We were looking for something a little bit different, and we have about 51 horses in the parade this year,” said Pierce. “We’ve never had a jockey in our parade.”

The VIP guests this year will include Stan Chambers, a longtime KTLA newsman, and Trevor Bell, a 2005 CV High School graduate who pitches for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

“I think everyone grew up watching Stan Chambers on the Channel 5 news,” Pierce said.

Pierce said the parade began in the 1950s, but didn’t become the consistent event on Honolulu Avenue that it is now until 1976. Since that time, generations of CV residents enjoy coming out to the biggest get-together of the year.

“I think more than anything else it just brings the community out and together. It’s so local and so homespun that it makes it feel like everyone is a kid again,” Pierce said. “You don’t get the same feeling as a lot of other parades.”