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Montrose readies for Christmas parade

Rain or shine, the Montrose Christmas Parade will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday.

At 6 p.m., the event will begin its milelong trek at Honolulu and Rosemont avenues, then wind down Honolulu before ending just past Verdugo Road. Although it's not expected to rain, Cheryl Davis, parade coordinator, said the event will go on regardless.

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Organized by the Montrose Christmas Parade Assn., the event will feature more than 1,000 participants, with up to 25,000 people watching from the sidewalks.

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Davis said participants include several equestrian groups, a dozen bands from local schools and more than 600 Scouts.

Local dignitaries will include Rep. Adam Schiff, state Sen.-elect Anthony Portantino and outgoing Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

This year, the organizers will be doing something a little different for the parade's grand marshal. Instead of one, there will be several.

"Our grand marshals will be hometown heroes," Davis said. "It's people who have really given back to our community."

The marshals will be J's Maintenance co-founder Ed Waldheim, Betty Porto of Porto's Bakery and Cafe and the McClure family of the Montrose Travel Agency.

Davis said it was a way to recognize each of the marshals for the work they do in the community, with each having donated their time and resources to local organizations in the past.

"We just wanted to recognize these heroes this year because we couldn't do the parade without them," she said.

In addition to the work by the grand marshals, Davis said the parade wouldn't be possible without the efforts of more than 150 volunteers. Some of the tasks they are responsible for include making sure every participant is checked in, there are enough cars for participantsand the streets are clear of debris and pedestrians.

"To think that a group of volunteers that don't get paid can put this on is just amazing to me," Davis said. "They love it, and to see how this parade is pulled off makes it worth it every year."

Visit montrosechristmasparade.com or call (818) 528-6060 for more information.

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Andy Nguyen, andy.nguyen@latimes.com

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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