MONTROSE — The Montrose Christmas Parade is celebrating its 30th anniversary Dec. 2 with a very special guest: actor Mickey Rooney will serve as grand marshal.
Since the parade was actually started many years ago by MGM star and then-La Cañada resident Dennis Morgan and celebrates Montrose's small town traditions, John Drayman, president of the Montrose Shopping Park Association decided to make the call to Rooney.
"We wanted a special addition for the parade, not to make it new, but to honor its homegrown past, full of Americana and family [traditions]," Drayman said. "I contacted Mickey Rooney who immediately agreed that he and his wife would ride in the parade."
The parade is actually more than 30 years old. Morgan began the parade in the 1950s and financed it himself for many years.
For a time the parade stopped, only to be reborn as a much larger nighttime event, thanks to local resident Frank Roberts. The parade also promotes holiday shopping for local merchants.
In addition to Rooney there will be a junior grand marshal chosen.
"Many people don't realize we have a contest for the junior grand marshal," Drayman said.
Children can visit the Montrose Farmers Market information booth on Sunday and enter the Jr. Grand Marshal Contest by guessing how many Christmas candies are in a jar. The only requirements are that all candidates must be elementary school age.
"We will have more equestrian units from Glendale Rangers to horse drawn carriages," Drayman said.
The parade organizers are also reaching out to veterans.
"We are asking any veterans who have recently returned from Iraq who would like to participate in the parade, to contact us," Drayman said.
The parade will be on Dec. 2 beginning at 6 p.m.