Santa Parade Attendance Falls Short
The parade, formerly sponsored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, had once seen crowds of 500,000. The Chamber dropped the parade when attendance dwindled down to 15,000 and it became a money loser.
Production of the parade was continued by the same firm - Pageantry Productions - some Chamber insiders said was part of the cause for the fiscal woes of the parade. The firm is owned by Bill Lomas, reportedly a close associate of Parade booster Councilman Tom LaBonge.
Now don't get me wrong, the old, dead Republican Mayor loves parades and wish there were more of them. But its not the function of the City to organize or pay for them.
Some of the boosters of the parade think this parade could be on the same level as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York or the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. It actually once was many years ago, but LA has changed since.
But its just not going to happen. LA is not New York. We have no central gathering places like Broadway and 34th Street. The New York parade has the support of a major corporation. The Rose Parade is produced by the amazing Tournament of Roses organization that has decades of experience - and its tied into one of the most significiant television sporting events - the Rose Bowl football game.
Both parades take place in towns that have strong civic pride. LA does not. Also both parades occur on a holiday when people are home and watching TV. The LA parade takes place on a Sunday when people are wrapping up a long holiday weekend and getting ready for work the next day.
The ideal thing for the parade would be for the Hollywood studios to take over as promoters (similar to Macy's) and host it on another date.
In the meantime how about if LaBonge focuses on more important things in his district like traffic, crime, etc.