Southern California's Top Parades, Walks & Holiday Events 2009

Paulina Rubio at Fiesta Broadway

Photo: Courtesy of Fiesta Broadway

1. Tournament of Roses
Broadcast worldwide, the Tournament of Roses parade takes place on New Year’s Day in Pasadena. This year marked the 120th anniversary of the parade, and the theme was “Hats Off to Entertainment.” The Rose Bowl college football game follows the parade.

2. Fiesta Broadway
Billed as the nation’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration, this event brings a half million people to the streets of downtown Los Angeles to kick off the holiday week celebration. This year’s festival will be held April 26.

3. West Hollywood Carnival
The City of West Hollywood celebrates Halloween each year with a costume party on Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega and Doheny. A series of Halloween events—including a pumpkin carving contest, dog costume contest, a drag race, and a beauty pageant—round out the festival.

4. L.A. Pride
This weekend-long celebration of gay pride takes place in June. The festival culminates in a parade along Santa Monica Boulevard with floats, performers, and nearly 450,000 spectators.

5. Golden Dragon Parade
The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles puts on this colorful celebration each year. About 110,000 people line the parade route along North Broadway to see floats, marching bands, government officials, and entertainers. This year’s festival is set for January 31.

6. Revlon Run/Walk for Women
Mother’s Day weekend marks the date for this annual event benefiting women’s cancer organizations. Last year, the 5K race drew 50,000 participants. This year’s event will take place at the Coliseum May 9.

7. AIDS Walk Los Angeles
Produced by MZA Events and benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles and other AIDS nonprofits, this 10K walk takes place the third Sunday of October in West Hollywood. Last year’s event drew more than 30,000 participants and raised $3.2 million.

8. Hollywood Santa Parade
We’re keeping this on our list for sentimental reasons: After the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce dropped the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 2006, the City of Los Angeles took it over and renamed it. In 2007, organizers estimated that 750,00 spectators turned out. The 2008 event took place on November 30.

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