Hollywood Christmas Parade

Robert Ripley famously loved Christmas, mailing unbelievably detailed, hand-illustrated cards to his colleagues and loved ones each year. Today, at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, we’ve kept up the tradition—from Nights of Lights in St. Augustine to gingerbread dream homes in Hollywood!

This year, we’ve gotten into the holiday spirit with the 86th annual Hollywood Christmas Parade. However, they don’t only call it “Hollyweird” for Ripley’s. Los Angeles hosts quite a few strange ways to spark the season!

  • The Surfing Santa Contest – Surf, sun and Santa shredding? Perhaps jolly old Saint Nick vacations in Orange County prior to the stressful holiday season! Each year in Dana Point hundreds of Santa-dressed surfers take to the waves to benefit Surfers Healing, a non-profit that helps get kids on the spectrum into the water.
  • Charles Phoenix’s Retro Holiday Slide Show – Kitsch king Phoenix presents the very best flea market-found vintage holiday slides. Yes, you can forgo your own family photo albums and revel in the roasting and toasting of families from the 1950s and 60s.
  • L. Ron Hubbard’s Winter Wonderland – Scientology Santa can only be found in Hollywood! On the south side of Hollywood Boulevard (just a stone’s throw from the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium) you can find a campy Christmas wonderland presented by the controversial religious organization, the Church of Scientology. Some say this strange tradition began when founder L. Ron Hubbard donated a tree to the city in 1983, while others view the attraction as a promotional stunt.

Ripley’s in the Parade

gingerbread houseOne of the most longstanding holiday traditions in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Christmas Parade, brought the Hollyweird this year. To get into the holiday spirit, Ripley’s had three-time National Gingerbread House Competition winner, Patricia Howard, create a 5-foot-tall gingerbread house for the lobby of the Hollywood Odditorium. Believe it or not, Patricia spent more than 300 hours creating this edible dream home!

Keeping with the theme, Ripley’s guided two larger-than-life gingerbread balloons along Hollywood Boulevard. Standing 23 feet tall, our gingerbread man balloon could contain 1,669,248 average-sized gingerbread cookies!

Leading the balloons was Ripley’s YouTube host Sabrina Sieck and a variety of performers—from a contortionist to acrobatic roller skater! Believe it or not, in Caracas, Venezuela, it is tradition to roller skate to Christmas mass!

hollywood christmas parade

That’s a Wrap!

Ripley’s proudest involvement was our donation of over $100,000 worth of Ripley books to Toys for Tots. To represent this donation, we constructed a stunning 12-foot-tall Christmas tree of books on the red carpet! (Don’t forget you can make your own Toys for Tots donation at Ripley’s locations around the country!)

If you’re looking for the perfect gift to give a loved ones, you can get 25% off tickets to our world-famous attractions this holiday season!

The Hollywood Christmas parade will air a two-hour special premiere nationally on the CW Friday, December 15, 8PM/7PM CT, with second airings throughout the holiday season. You can also catch the parade on the Hallmark Channel and American Forces Network.

ripley's book tree