Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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The Echo Park Christmas Parade


It's raining now -- thank you universe. But the skies were even friendlier for not raining on Saturday, which was the day of the Echo Park Christmas Parade. The Echo Park Historical Society had a trunkful of raincoats in a silver rented convertible, but we didn't have to wear them. Instead we got to reveal, and revel in, a miscellany of costumes meant to convey the idea of silent film stars and directors on the 100th (or something) anniversary of Mack Sennett's studio on Glendale Boulevard. Yours truly was Mabel Normand-ish (she hopes). One of our members, dressed as a "producer" in pinstripes and small round sunglasses, held a paper horn, which he used to shout at the "actors": "Get to work, you union scum!" I'm not sure it was heard beyond the car. After a while, our "producer" found a Spanish-language radio station that played ballads, and we turned up the volume.

Over 40 groups joined the parade, which started at Sunset/Elysian Ave. They included a vintage car club -- with about 20 gleaming vehicles, all pre-1950, I think (the MC reminded the crowd that car clubs are a historic Echo Park tradition); and several school-girl dance groups (one of which twirled to a raunchy Lil Wayne song); there was a Shakespeare convertible; and a genuine float, with lotus flowers and men and women in lotus position as meditative music played.

Even though it didn't rain, it was cold and blustery, and I was surprised by how many people lined Sunset Boulevard. I was also surprised that the crowd was almost entirely Latino. Doesn't everyone love a parade? Lots of kids, on both sides of the curtain.

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