Spirited holiday events

GLENDALE — Residents looking to get into the winter spirit will have plenty of options this weekend when holiday-themed events take over the town.

On Saturday evening, thousands of people are expected to line Honolulu Avenue for the 34th annual Montrose Christmas Parade.

"We have 146 entries, 51 horses, 11 bands, tons of children, over 700 Scouts. This is a huge parade for our community," said Steve Pierce, the parade's coordinator. "I'm going to encourage everyone in the city of Glendale to come up to Montrose and join us for a really fun time."

Featured parade participants include retired jockey and Grand Marshal Laffit Pincay Jr., longtime Los Angeles newscaster Stan Chambers and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Trevor Bell, a graduate of Crescenta Valley High School. The parade is scheduled to start at 6:10 p.m.

Earlier in the day and on the other side of town, the Adams Square Merchants Assn. will host its annual holiday festival, complete with free carnival rides.

"Santa Claus will be there on a Harley-Davidson, so that's always a pleasure to see," said Alfred Ramirez, treasurer for the association. "So bring all the kids."

For those hoping to spread holiday cheer, Metrolink will host its 14th annual Holiday Toy Express, where the agency partners with member cities to collect toys to distribute to needy local families.

Glendale and Burbank fire officials say the annual event helps them meet their goals to collect thousands of toys for the Spark of Love toy drive, which runs through Dec. 24.

On Saturday, a 450-ton train covered in ornaments and more than $50,000 in holiday lights with Santa Claus aboard will kick off its tour with a 5 p.m. arrival at the Burbank Metrolink Station before heading to the Glendale for a 6 p.m. arrival.

In the hours surrounding the train's arrival, both stations will be filled with holiday festivities, such as food, local performance groups, elves and arts and crafts. Those in attendance are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to donate.

"It's nice because people that want to donate to Spark of Love with this event can get something out of it as well," said Tanya Gregorian, Glendale fire public education coordinator.

Other holiday events

The Glendale Galleria and Chabad Jewish Center of Glendale and the Foothill Communities will host a Hanukkah Celebration, featuring a Menorah kindling ceremony from 4 pm to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Glendale Galleria adjacent to Stride Rite Shoes.

The Red Rabbit Holiday Arts & Craft Market will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale.

The Glendale Community College annual holiday ceramics sale will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday in Student Center Room 212, 1500 N. Verdugo Road.

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