Gene Autry’s Surprising Song Tie With The Hollywood Christmas Parade

One of America’s most cherished entertainers and hometown heroes here in Los Angeles, Gene Autry, has penned some of the most recognizable holiday songs that have since become a staple of the Christmas season.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas until you hear one of the Singing Cowboy’s classics like “Frosty The Snowman” or “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” playing, but it’s his one holiday hit “Here Comes Santa Claus” that has a fascinating connection with another local staple of the season – the Hollywood Christmas Parade.

Celebrating its 81st year this Sunday, the Hollywood Christmas Parade served as the setting behind Autry’s inspiration to write the classic holiday jingle after he rode his horse in the 1946 parade, which was known at the time as the Santa Claus Lane Parade.

As Autry rode down the parade route, he could hear the children in the crowd chanting “here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus,” and that’s when the idea popped in his head. He and co-writer Oakley Hadelman put the phrase to music and the rest is now history!

You can head to ‘Santa Claus Lane’ this Sunday as the City of Los Angeles presents the 81st Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade onĀ  Nov. 25th at 6 p.m. featuring this year’s Grand Marshall, actor Joe Mantegna!

Actor Erik Estrada and Laura McKenzie, TV’s number one travel expert, will serve as the parade’s co-hosts as holiday floats, celebrities, vintage TV vehicles and performances by The Jabbawockeez, Ashlee Keating and more pass by to entertain all the excited children and spectators.

The parade route will start on Hollywood Blvd. at Orange, travel in a U-shape east to Vine, then south to Sunset Blvd., and finally west back to Orange.

The parade will also broadcast Dec 12th on the Hallmark Channel. For more information on the parade, visit

More from Britt Bickel

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