By Kitten Kay Sera
Hollywood, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/29/16 – The weather was perfect for the 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, for finally in Los Angeles it was beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas.
Everyone was bundled up in festive holiday colors and it looked like a scene right out of a classic holiday film.
Olivia Newton John was the Grand Marshall and you couldn’t ask for a more gracious and beautiful Grand Marshall. Her sheer presence was a present to us all.
Speaking of presents ..The Toys For Tots foundation was one of the 17 sponsors. But did you know this worthy program was formed by a California native Marine in 1948. The marines played official songs as they marched in the parade. Many people showed respect by standing and saluting as proud Americans to say thanks for their service to their country.
We were seated by some adorable children who gasped every time a float or car went by, making the entire experience more fun and magical for everyone.
I’ve actually never attended the Hollywood Christmas Parade before in all of my years living here. What a mistake and being known as “The Pink Lady Of Hollywood” I’m ashamed to admit that! However , I can assure you, it will be a Tradition for me from this day forward. That’s how much I enjoyed the joyous occasion.
In a nutcracker shell, these are some of the highlights of my night:
I was enthralled by amazing performances by these artists, WAR who performed their huge hit “Low Rider” and even though recorded back in 1975… the lyrics are very appropriate for the present time.
Scotty McCreery (American Idol Winner from Season 10) charmed us with his version of “Santa Claus is Back In Town ” I could see the smiling faces of the children who sat by me as he crooned the tune. When I spoke with Scott McCreery on the red carpet he said a favorite Christmas memory he had was when he was 9 years old and it finally snowed in his hometown. He looked at his Christmas presents and then looked outside and ran in to the snow instead of playing with his new toys! Being from North Carolina you don’t get much snow and when you do …you gotta take advantage of it! We both laughed, as I’m from Texas and can definitely relate.
Oh and let’s not forget The Band Of Merrymakers featuring Mark McGrath and Lisa Loeb who performed a “Very Merry Medley” & “Must Be Christmas”. I loved seeing Mark McGrath back on stage. He actual remembered me from our appearance together on “Extra ” when he was hosting on the NBC Television show and I filled in for his Cohost, Dayna Devon. That’s when I knew hosting was what I wanted to do.
Another thrill was Cyndi Lauper singing “Hard Candy Christmas ” a Dolly Parton 1982 Classic.
Cyndi Lauper & I looked like twins on the red carpet with matching pink hair! She had to stop and pose with me even though she was wanted on stage and being rushed by her people to hurry. I was tickled pink just to get the very last photo with her … no time for an interview though. Growing up she was a big influence on my own musical career.
However, my favorite was Olivia Newton John performing her hit from 1980, Xanadu!!! She also did a new Christmas song “There’s Still My Joy”. Her angelic voice left the Christmas crowd speechless. Olivia Newton John .. I honestly loved you! And I honestly loved this years 85th Hollywood Christmas Parade !!! Spectacular job by everyone.
Happy Holidays and a Very Merry Christmas. See you next year.
The 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade will premiere as a two-hour prime time special on The CW Network on Friday, December 16, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (7:00 p.m. CT) repeating on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel on Wednesday, December 21, 2106 at 3:00 p.m. ET/PT (2:00 p.m. CT).
(contributing writers: Mary Jean Prather, Valerie Milano)