Granada Hills : Largest Valley Parade Features 4,800 Entries

With forecasts calling for sunny skies, the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its 12th annual holiday parade Sunday, the largest of its kind in the San Fernando Valley.

The parade, scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of Chatsworth Street and Petit Avenue, will proceed 12 blocks west along Chatsworth to Lindley Avenue.

Organizer Barbara Wexler noted that this year's event will include more than 4,800 participants, including antique automobiles, marching bands, Scout troops, drill teams and Santa Claus himself. Child actor Ross Bagley ("The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") will serve as grand marshal.

"It's really a lot of fun," she said. "It's a kids' parade."

And although participants won't be marching through a winter wonderland of frost and snow, John Ciccarelli, the parade's founder, said he's not concerned.

"I think the warm weather will bring out a really nice crowd," he said, estimating that the procession should last at least two hours.

Afterward, Santa Claus will light a 65-foot Christmas tree at the intersection of Chatsworth Street and Zelzah Avenue. The tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m.

"It's just a positive experience," Ciccarelli said of the annual event. "It really helps bring out the community spirit."

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