'Here Comes Santa Claus' song inspired by Hollywood Christmas Parade

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Did you know the jolly Christmas jingle "Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)" was born on the streets of Hollywood? The song has filled the young and old with joy for decades.

Hollywood Boulevard became "America's Santa Claus Lane" when, in 1946, entertainer Gene Autry rode as Grand Marshal of the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

"He heard the kids yelling, 'Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!' Because Santa Claus was on a float just behind Gene," said Jackie Autry, Gene's widow.

The song hit the Top 10.

On Sunday, November 30, the grandstands will be up, crowds will line the street, and music will be in the air for the 82nd anniversary of the Hollywood Christmas Parade. The parade begins at 5 p.m.

This year's Grand Marshal is music legend Stevie Wonder.

Today's parade has come a long way from its origins.

"They just had a Santa Claus and one movie star go down the street, in the beginning in 1928, in a sleigh pulled with reindeer," said Charles Phoenix, L.A.'s "Ambassador of Americana."

The spectacle grew as Hollywood merchants competed with downtown L.A., and the stars followed.

The parade's theme remains eternal.

"Watching those little kids on the streets laugh and yell and wave their little hands, and we would wave back. It was really a wonderful experience," said Autry.

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