Local News West Edition

Gray skies don’t dampen mood at 54th Watts Christmas Parade

WATTS — Overcast skies didn’t rain on the 54th annual Watts Christmas Parade Dec. 7.

The city woke up bright and early to celebrate Christmas and highlight the talents and neighborhood pride as their reason for the season.

Community leaders, organizations, marching bands and neighbors joined together for the annual event.  

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Kingdom Day Parade President & CEO Adrian Dove, 15th District Councilman Joe Buscaino, Grand Marshal Pastor Reginald Pope, Watts Health, Sisters of Watts, and students from Centennial High School, New Design Charter School and Locke High School all participated and were honored with blue and gold trophies with “Watts On Parade” inscribed on the front.

The parade launch began with Waters who thanked the community for its support in her political battles with President Donald Trump.

“I ain’t scared, I’m not afraid. I’m going to fight,” Waters said. “That is why you sent me to Washington, D.C., to represent. I’m going to represent.” 

With children screaming “Merry Christmas!,” candy canes were passed around and Santa hats were sold. 

The children of Jordan Downs followed the route with a large banner reading, “Watts On Parade.”

Parade Princess August Butler was wearing a tiara, a petite red coat and red shiny shoes to match.

“I think it’s wonderful that she will be recognized as the princess. She was the princess last year. She’s 5 years old and extremely smart,” said Freeda Latimore of Gardena, August’s great-grandmother who rode in a black convertible with her. August did not speak but she smiled and nodded about being excited for the day.

Cheerleader Porscha Lockhart of New Design Charter School said, “I feel nervous but that’s ok.” It’s her first year cheerleading in the parade.

Watts native, David Cunningham said, “This parade means family and community. We get together during Christmas time to spread love and holiday cheer.”

MMA cage fighter Ken Rocks, Simply Creative Arts, I Love Watts, Lovely Radio Show, San Miguel Ballet Folklorico, Ladie Riders Bike Club, Boys & Girls Club of Los Angeles, House of Uhuru, Edwin Markham Middle School, The C.R.E.W., Our Kids Lives Mattered Too, Amanda Foundation and Nickerson Gardens Dream Center also contributed to the Christmas spirit.