By Mary O’KEEFE
As Santa traveled down Honolulu Avenue in a Glendale fire engine waving to the last little child on the route, the 38th Annual Montrose-Glendale Christmas Parade on Saturday night came to an end as parade goers slowly left Honolulu Avenue. On their heels was an army of volunteers shifting focus from organizing and assisting to cleaning the streets, packing up pop-up tents and picking up traffic cones.
Cheryl Davis is the parade coordinator. She and fellow parade volunteers began meeting in June to discuss the theme of the parade. From that point forward they were in parade mode. Although it may look easy to put on this popular community event, there is a lot of work that needs to be done and many volunteers who are needed to make it look as simple and easy as it does.
“I want to thank the board of the Montrose Christmas Parade Association, Chris Waldheim, Joe Pardo, Steve Pierce and Dan Konkel,” Davis said. “The parade is put on by a group of community volunteers and is only possible due to sponsorships, donations and entry fees. We would also like to thank the City of Glendale for its support.”
The Montrose Christmas Parade Association is a separate, non-profit entity. Those who are on the board and committees are all volunteers.
Each year brings new entries and aspects to the parade. This year Clark Magnet High School students were behind the cameras filming the parade.
“Special thanks as well to Clark Magnet High School, Electromotive and Glendale Unified School District for helping us televise the parade live on GREG TV and on the Web for the first time,” Davis said.
The parade will be rebroadcast in its entirety on GREG TV, Charter Cable channel 15 or U-Verse 99 Glendale Community Access on Wednesdays beginning Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
There were many highlights during the parade including cheers for grand marshal Johnny Harrison who has supported GUSD schools for many years, and the local Boy and Girl Scouts, the school bands and many others who make the Montrose parade a genuine hometown event; however, there was one stand out – the winning CVHS Falcons football team.
“That was a last minute surprise,” Davis said.
Parade organizers spoke with the coaches and school officials about the team traveling the parade route, but didn’t want to mention it to the team.
“They were focusing on the game,” she added.
The Falcons won the CIF championship on Friday and were cheered once again as they made their way down Honolulu Avenue.
Another group of volunteers Davis would like to specifically thank is the Prom Plus Club. The Crescenta Valley High School student club organizes over 100 youth volunteers.
“[Prom Plus Club members] were honored as the junior grand marshals this year for all their service to the community and being the lead volunteers at the Christmas parade, so they were one of the very first entries in the parade,” Davis explained. “[After walking down Honolulu] they ran back to various posts along the parade route and behind the scenes to help – like they always do.”
Members of the Prom Plus Club helped in many ways. When a young girl was separated from her mother during the parade, an observant Prom Plus Club member found her and PPC reunited her with her family.
In addition to the City of Glendale, Davis expressed her gratitude to the Montrose Shopping Park and Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce for their help and support.
Although the parade committee will take a few weeks off before beginning to plan the 2015 parade, donations are still being accepted. To find out more about the parade or to donate, visit www.montrosechristmasparade.com.