By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Preparations are underway for one of the biggest and best events of Baltimore’s holiday season: The Mayor’s Christmas Parade.

The 46th annual parade will be held in Hampden on Sunday.

“It starts at 1 p.m. Sunday at Falls Rd. and Cold Spring Ln.,” parade chairman Tom Kerr said. “It goes down Falls Rd. and into 36th St., the business district. A lot of people come from the counties to see it. They wouldn’t miss it. It’s good for the city.”

The parade covers two and a half miles.

Nine-year-old Penelope Tsendeas is this year’s Junior Miss Yuletide.

“It’s really exciting waving to everybody from my float. I’m just so happy to be in Hampden and in the Mayor’s Christmas Parade,” said Tsendeas.

The Mercy High School cheerleaders will be appearing in the mayor’s parade for the first time.

“We’re very excited to be part of such a great Baltimore tradition. To have Mercy High School here celebrating the Christmas season,” said Kathleen Black Wenck, Mercy High School varsity cheer coach.

Business owners in Hampden help pay for the cost of the parade, and again this year, some elves will be along the parade route accepting donations.

“It’s very expensive to put the parade on. We are definitely dedicated. so please look for us.” “Mama Elf” Laura Myers said.

Parade chairman Tom Kerr says there will be big floats, balloons, and 17 marching bands.

Groups will be coming from Delaware and Virginia, and an estimated 15,000 people are expected to line the streets.

WJZ’s Tim Williams, Meg McNamara, and Ron Matz will be riding in the parade on Sunday.

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