COMPTON– The City of Compton will welcome home native and 2016 Grammy nominee rapper Kendrick Lamar as the grand marshal of the 63rd Annual Compton Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 12th. Thousands are expected to turnout for the annual event themed “Christmas in Compton.” The parade begins at 11 a.m. and travels west on Compton Boulevard from Bullis Road to Alameda Street. At 2 p.m. Mayor Aja Brown will host her 3rd annual toy giveaway at Wilson Park located at 123 North Rose Street. Toys will be given out on a first come, first served basis. Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation.
"Christmas is definitely a special time of year." said Mayor Aja Brown. “It's a time to enjoy family and reflect on the many things we all have to be thankful for. Compton has experienced one of the safest years in over a decade, new stores and employment opportunities for local residents and a renewed commitment from Compton's beloved cultural influencers. There is definitely no place like home for the holidays and we are so very excited and humbled to welcome back Compton's family members for the holidays!"
Since its origin in 1952, the Compton Christmas Parade has been a highlight of the holiday season for locals and residents of neighboring cities. For the 63rd edition, the parade line-up will feature 16 marching bands, 12 drill teams, 2 equestrian teams and over 35 local community groups and businesses including the Compton Girl Scouts, Compton Fire Explorers, Compton NAACP and Compton’s chapter of the sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, who is the leading nominee for the 2016 Grammy awards with 11 nominations, including album of the year for “To Pimp a Butterfly” and song of the year for “Alright” will be the 2015 Compton Christmas Parade Grand Marshal.
Lamar, 28, received a total of seven nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. A year later, at the 2015 Grammy Awards, he won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance for his song “I”. In May, Lamar received the California State Senate's "Generational Icon Award" from State Senator Isadore Hall III (D–Compton) who represents California's 35th district. From the senate floor, Lamar told the legislature, “Being from the City of Compton and knowing the parks that I played at and the neighborhoods, I always thought how great the opportunity would be to give back to my community off of what I do in music.” “To Pimp a Butterfly was” named by music magazines Rolling Stone and Spin the best album of 2015. Complex ranked Lamar atop its "The 20 Best Rappers in Their 20s" annual list.
Most recently, in an interview with People, President Barack Obama said Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost” is his favorite song of the year.
Lamar was born in Compton, California, to parents from Chicago, Illinois. His birth name was given to him by his mother in honor of singer Eddie Kendricks. In 1995, at the age of eight, Lamar witnessed his idols, Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre, film the music video for their hit single "California Love", which later proved to be a very significant moment in Lamar's life. As a teenager, Lamar attended Centennial High School in Compton, where he was a straight-A student.
Other participants include Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams who spearheaded the mid-80s sensation, World Class Wreckin’ Cru, that included at the time Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. Williams was recently portrayed in the N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton.” Also featured will be Power 106 morning show host J Cruz of the all-new Cruz Show, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH’s Bobo and Elle Andrews, 94.7 The Wave on-air personalities Frankie Ross and Greg Mack and ABC 7 reporters Leo Stallworth and John Gregory. Fans will also get to see ABC’s 'Black-ish' stars Marsai Martin and Marcus Scribner, the stars of BET Network’s new original docu-series “The Westbrooks,” Hosea Chanchez of "The Game," "American Horror Story" and "Better Call Saul's" Liana Mendoza and Paula Jai Parker-Martin of TV One's "Hollywood Divas."
Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Councilmembers Janna Zurita, Isaac Galvan, Yvonne Arceneaux and Emma Sharif will all be featured in the parade along with City Clerk Alita Godwin, City Attorney Craig Cornwell and City Treasurer Doug Sanders. Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell will join Compton Station Captain Myron Johnson in representing sheriff’s department while Deputy Fire Chief Bryan Batiste will represent the City’s fire department. Other local elected officials include members of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees, Compton Community College District Board of Trustees and City commissioners.
State Senator Isadore Hall, Assemblymember Mike Gipson and former Assemblymember Steve Bradford will also ride in the parade.
The parade begins at 11 a.m. and travels west on Compton Boulevard from Bullis Road to Alameda Street.
Compton Boulevard will be closed in both directions beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday, December 12 between Bullis Road and Alameda Street until 3 p.m. Alternative routes include Rosecrans Avenue and Alondra Bouelvard. Bullis Road will be closed between Rosecrans Avenue and Compton Boulevard in both directions from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information and the latest on the parade follow the City of Compton on Twitter at@ComptonCityHall, Instagram at @ComptonCityHall and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ComptonCityCA. Now trending at #CityofCompton, #Compton, #ComptonEmpowered, #VisionForCompton and #ChristmasinCompton
Residents and members of the public can contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (310) 605-5688 for more information.