HOLLYWOOD - The 80th anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade will make its way through the streets of Tinseltown Sunday, led by grand marshal Marie Osmond.
The parade will begin at 6 p.m. at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, then moves east to Vine Street, then south to Sunset Boulevard and back west to Orange.
"CHiPs" star Erik Estrada and "World's Funniest Moments" host Laura McKenzie will emcee the event, announcing the names of celebrities, marching bands, equestrian units, floats and the giant balloons, as they pass by.
Dean Cain will host the music portion of the televised parade special, which will air Dec. 12 on the Hallmark Channel.
Proceeds from the telecast will benefit Toys for Tots. Among the celebrities expected to take part in the parade are Mark Ballas ("Dancing with the Stars"), Heather Tom and Jacob Young of "The Bold & the Beautiful," Lou Gossett Jr., Natalie Alyn Lind ("One Tree Hill"), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. ("America's Got Talent"), Melissa Peterman ("Reba''), Sasha Pieterse ("Pretty Little Liars''), Francia Raisa ("Secret Life of the American Teenager''), Sha Na Na, Lea Thompson and, of course, Santa Claus.
The parade will also feature more than a dozen marching bands, balloons, floats and equestrian units.
The Hollywood Christmas Parade is a tradition that began in 1928, but it was suspended for three years during World War II.
At its peak, it featured A-list celebrities like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Sammy Davis Jr., George Burns and Gracie Allen.
It was the inspiration for Gene Autry to compose the classic song "Here Comes Santa Claus.''
The parade's popularity waned over the years, and it was almost canceled in 2007, when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce could not secure enough broadcast advertising to help offset the cost of the production.
The Los Angeles City Council stepped in and contributed $175,000 to keep the parade going. The city continues to sponsor the event.
The parade is now run by Hollywood's Santa Parade LLC. More information is available at the website
Motorists should anticipate traffic delays in the Hollywood area due to the parade. Many streets in the area will be closed Sunday morning and remain closed until about midnight.