Saturday, December 15, 2007

Disneyland Christmas Parade, 1961 - Part 1

Ready or not, Christmas is a-comin'! I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a bit Grinchy this year. Certain things always help though, like watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street", or listening to my dad's old scratchy albums of beautiful Christmas music (which I"ve heard for as long as I can remember). So it's nostalgia for the ghosts of Christmas past that get me in a cheerful mood!

Ordinarily, if I find a bunch of slides showing a parade at Disneyland, I am disappointed. But this batch of images from the 1961 Christmas parade make me smile as I can almost feel the slight chill in the December air, hear faint echoes of marching-band versions of "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" and "Up On The Rooftop", and see the smiling faces of kids who probably have grandkids of their own by now.

SO, take a look at these "you are there" photos, and try to transport yourself back to those more carefree days! With the exception of the first image, they will be presented in the order in which they were taken. In this first picture, we're standing beneath the marquee of the Main Street Cinema, with a glimpse of the parade through the crowd. The hats and clothing show us that this is a Kennedy-era parade.

Well, Happy Holiday to you too, marching alphabet blocks! I wonder if you are related to the famous dancing packs of Old Gold cigarettes?

One of the Three Little Pigs pauses to have his photo taken, just look at all the paparazzi! It's like the red carpet at some surreal awards show.

Arrr! Cap'n Hook should be pulling that canon with his built-in trailer hitch!

Giant bunnies in Easter egg hues terrorize children with their large-bore canons. To the right, a mutant Scotty dog (in full tartan regalia) gives me the willies.

This group of Dickensian carolers bring a dash of old England to Main Street, and I am glad to see them. Note how the crowd, usually so orderly back in those days, is starting to spill out into the streets. It's like a Who concert!

I hope you are enjoying this series, because you're going to get two more days of it!


Thufer said...

that top picture is very warm and actuality allows you to feel like your right there at the main street cinema.just a really good picture, thanks.

outsidetheberm said...

These are great. Wish the parades today were more genuine like this. There seems to be a strong sense of overly choreographed, artificial sincerity in what they offer today. No?
Thanks for offering these.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Snazzy Parade! These are great, I too am feeling a bit "Grinchy", these are helping to get me more in the Holiday spirit! I love the dancing letters!

Matterhorn1959 said...

I always love parade shots, especially the Christmas parade. I watched the 1965 Disneyland Christmas parade on the new Disneyland DVD this morning. It will help put you in the Christmas mood. Thanks for sharing these, especially the carolers!

Chris Jepsen said...

Nothing says Christmas like giant yellow and blue hydrocephalic rabbits with cannons. Whose idea was THAT?!?