The Studio City Holiday Parade will not happen this year.
Beth Dymond, of the Studio City Residents Association, and part of the group that has taken over the parade responsibilities from the Studio City Chamber of Commerce, announced at the Chamber's monthly luncheon on Thursday afternoon (Oct. 7) that they made a decision to skip the popular community parade this year.
"It was just getting too late in the year, and the people in charge of the committee had some distractions, and it just got to be too much," said Dyamond, who pointed out that although they were trying to hire someone to take charge of the parade, no one was hired for it and the event would take place in only two months. So they decided to give up trying to rush the project and slap it together at the last minute.
One of the organizers on the all-volunteer committee had an uptick in business, another had twins, and they couldn't find a qualified person to hire that could work with the $35,000 budget that they had for the parade.
Held in the early part of December, the short holiday parade is a very local community parade that often features school bands, local businesses and celebrities who live in town.
About four years ago, the parade skipped a year, and last year, it was billed as the 15th annual parade, but longtime residents know that it has been going on much longer than that in different incarnations.
Last year, local martial arts groups performed, as did the Notre Dame High School Irish Knight Band, North Hollywood High School Band, Walter Reed Middle School Jazz Band "A," Rock Nation, Chabad of Studio City, Save LA River Open Space/"The Reminders" as well as jugglers, stilt walkers and carolers.
Last year, for the first time, the SCRA presented awards to some of the participants. Last year's Grand Marshal was local resident Ed Begley Jr.; City Controller Wendy Greuel; Assembly member Mike Feuer; Los Angeles Unified School Distict Board of Education member Tamar Galatzan; Nicole Johnson, Miss California USA; Miss Studio City; Miss Sherman Oaks and KCBS/KCAL Meteorologist Josh Rubenstein.
See the attached video of past parades, including one that dates back to 1965 which shows Ed Begley with little Ed Begley Jr. in the car, and Jayne Mansfield with her children, as well as local residents Beverly Garland, Nancy Kulp (Miss Hathaway from The Beverly Hillbillies), Tippi Hedron (from The Birds, with little Melanie Griffith in tow) and Michael Landon (Little House on the Prairie).
Always sort of a stepchild to the Hollywood Christmas Parade which attracted up to a million people on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and was often televised, the Studio City Holiday Parade was always a low-scale, fun event that promoted shopping along Ventura Boulevard, and engendered a lot of community involvement.
"It's a huge project and I think if we take a one-year hiatus, we'll do it right next year," said Dyamond. "Last year was the first year that we took it over."
Anyone interested in volunteering for this or other committees with the Studio City Residents Association, could write: SCRABoard@studiocityresidents.org.