This year’s Compton Christmas Parade will be talked about for months. It was the city’s 61st Annual Parade, and it fell on the city celebrating its 125th birthday. And to add something new, the parade route was changed from the standard Compton Blvd. to Alameda St., which caused some criticism – but overall the feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly a thumbs up! And why not, the parade started on time, had over140 entries, including celebrities, hometown favorites, elected officials, high school bands, (including a great battle of the bands at the end of the parade route) floats, beautiful vehicles, horses, and many businesses and organizations.
The new Mayor Aja Brown along with her City Council colleagues rode in her first Compton Parade, and even joined the announcers/judges stand briefly to say a few words and take in the days activities. The beautiful sunny day was fitting for the Southern CA. town known as the “Hub City” and surely contributed for the large turnout of parade viewers. One lady who had been to a many Compton Parades said that this year’s parade was one of the best.
This year’s 61st Annual Christmas Parade themed “Homecoming” lived up to the billing. Recognizing great moments in Compton’s rich athletic history, the City’s undefeated basketball CIF Champs (1967-1968) and undefeated National champs (1968-1969) with a total combined record of 62-0 blessed the parade audience with their appearance. The members of that legacy are Larry Hollyfield, Melvin McLaurin, Johnny Stevenson, Ron Knight, Ron Richardson, Clark Biff Burrell, Dr. Michael Hopwood, James Newman, Keith Lee, Lewis Nelson, Dr. Fred Kennedy, Reynaldo Brown, and Frank Pierce.
Ulis Williams, gold medalist in the 1964 Olympics in the 4 X 400 meter relay, and former President of Compton Community College was present. Compton gridiron Rico Smith, and former NFL Player drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 1992, and other athletes were on hand.
But also in the parade was one of Compton’s oldest churches (102 years) “Our Lady of Victory” under the leadership of Father Francisco Valdovinos, had LLuvia de Estrellas ballet folklorico group, and others on hand.
A follow-up article will be published with official line-up, (including sponsors) but a job well done by the City of Compton, the 125 Committee, all the individuals and groups who were in the parade – and a special shout out to the many residents, and community members who lined the streets.