KCET has put up a slew of pictures (like the one at right) along with a history of the Santa Claus Lane Parade. This was taken during the daytime, when the street was being readied for the parade, in 1928--the year of the first parade.
It was a Chamber of Commerce stunt to bring attention to the shops in the area. Those are living fir trees in the photo, brought from Big Bear in planters filled with soil. One hundred in all, and they were later transplanted at the Hollywood Bowl.
For that first parade, movie starlet Jeanette Loff sat with Santa in his sleigh. And for the first few years, Hollywood actually maintained a small herd of reindeer that pulled that sleigh.
Well, actually, it was the County Parks Department who maintained them, but they were quite real. I found out those little tidbits while researching my upcoming book, The Boomer Book of Christmas Memories. That's the proposed cover to the left.
Yup, that's me and my brother and he gave me permission to use his photo. Actually, I think he's more troubled by the bow tie he had to wear than his terrified expression.
And yes, this is a shameless plug, especially since the book won't be available till next May. Here's a link to the website, where I will be posting to a blog of Boomer trivia.
But self-promotion aside, check out the many pictures (I counted 19) on the KCET "LA as Subject" post--it'll bring back memories or at least, fill you with a twinge of nostalgia!