BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a Baltimore holiday tradition. On Sunday, thousands of people will line the streets for the annual Mayor’s Christmas parade.

As Ron Matz reports, it’s all happening in Hampden for the 40th consecutive year.

Hampden comes alive Sunday afternoon as 25,000 people line the streets to take in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade, a holiday tradition that started in 1972.

It will start at the corner of Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane at 1 p.m. and travel down to 36th Street. The streets will be filled with marching bands, balloons and great floats.

Miss Yuletide 2012, Jaimie Adelsberger, is looking forward to continuing the tradition.

“My grandparents grew up in Hampden. I’ve always been to the parade and I’ve always wanted to be in it,” said Adelsberger.  “It’s an honor.  I want to be a role model for other kids.”

The Christmas parade is more bittersweet for organizer, Tom Kerr, who is stepping down after this year’s celebration. Kerr has organized every one since 1972, when Governor William Donald Schaefer asked him to be in charge.

“I’m getting older. It’s a lot of work. My wife and I do a lot of work behind the scenes,” said Kerr. “We have hundreds of other people who help but I think this might be it.”

Preparations for the Christmas parade start in April.

“Tom has done a fabulous job every year. He does a lot of work. It’s remarkable. He’s a very dedicated individual,” said Hampden resident Sharon Burke.

WJZ’s Ron Matz and Tim Williams will be part of the parade on Sunday, which kicks off at 1 p.m.


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