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Stars stay away from Santa Parade

Nov. 26, 2007 at 3:44 PM

HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- About 125,000 people turned out to watch Sunday's Hollywood Santa Parade even though there were few big-name stars to spot.

At the peak of its popularity, the 79-year-old parade attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of stars like Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Natalie Wood and Gene Autry, the Los Angeles Times said.

But with limited celebrity participation and diminished interest from TV stations in running the parade in recent years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce decided it was too expensive to bring back.

City leaders, however, raised $260,000 to keep the tradition alive and pledged to do the same next year.

"I know it's tough for traffic and I know it's tough getting every celebrity you want, but when you get this many people coming out each year, it's tough to say no," Councilman Eric Garcetti told the Times Sunday. "We tried to keep the tradition alive."

Appearing in the parade Sunday were cast members from "High School Musical," Rex Lee from "Entourage," Tony Plana from "Ugly Betty," Rip Taylor, Casey Kasem and Cesar Milan.

"It's really C-list," said parade-watcher Brandon Thomas. "They got Bob Barker, but he's been around forever."

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