Legendary singer Stevie Wonder will serve as grand marshal today for the 83rd Hollywood Christmas Parade, which will also include appearances by Santa Claus, boxer Oscar de la Hoya, actress Cristela Alonzo and musician Richie Sambora.
“I am deeply honored to be serving as grand marshal of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, as 2014 is a historic one in the annals of American history, and represents the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a landmark piece of legislation in the United States guaranteeing all citizens equal protection of the laws under the 14th Amendment,” Wonder said.
“It is my privilege to give back and to be a part of an American tradition like the Hollywood Christmas Parade.”
The parade will be preceded by a concert featuring Wonder, Sambora, Taylor Dayne, Heart, Estelle, Jesse McCartney, Rita Wilson and Earth, Wind & Fire.
The parade will step off from Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Street. It will then travel east on Hollywood, south on Vine Street, west on Sunset Boulevard and back to Orange.
The parade benefits the Toys for Tots program.
Television personalities Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie will serve as broadcast hosts, with assistance from Dean Cain and Montel Williams.
Among the celebrities expected to participate are Cristina Ferrare, Nigel Lythgoe, Kali Rocha, Christina Milian, Hayley Orrantia, G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison and Nancy Cartwright. Members of the casts of “Days of Our Lives,” “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and The Beautiful” are also among those expected.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is also expected to take part in the parade, along with several members of the City Council.
The Hollywood Christmas Parade was first held in 1928, when it was called the “Santa Claus Lane Parade.” Comedian Joe E. Brown was the first grand marshal in 1932, a role later filled by Bob Hope, Gene Autry and Jimmy Stewart.