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Santa and a cast of hundreds to be on hand for Hampden parade

There's plenty else planned besides skateboarding to keep thousands of spectators entertained during Sunday's 42nd annual Hampden Mayor's Christmas Parade.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is not participating in the parade this year, due to a prior commitment, but other elected officials, some of them running for mayor and other offices, will be marching or riding in the parade, including city councilmen and mayoral candidates Carl Stokes and Nick Mosby.

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City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis ride in the parade, said parade organizer Tom Kerr.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. in the Poly / Western High Schools parking lot at Falls Road and Cold Spring Lane. The 2.5-mile route will be south on Falls Road, east on 36th Street (The Avenue) and north on Chestnut Avenue, ending at 37th Street.

This year's Miss Yuletide in the parade is Jahna Hawes, 15, a part-time Hampden resident and a high school sophomore in Anne Arundel County. Hawes, a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, was the Junior Miss Yuletide in the Hampden parade in 2009, and is the first in the history of the parade to be both Junior Miss Yuletide and Miss Yuletide.

"It feels pretty good," Hawes said.

Junior Miss Yuletide is Brooke Amick, a fourth-grader at Medfield Heights Elementary School. Brooke likes archery and playing guitar. She is the seventh generation of her family to live in the same house on Buena Vista Avenue, and follows in the footsteps of a long line of family members who have been in the parade at one time or another through the years.

Brooke said she wanted to be in the parade "because everybody else in my family was in it."

The parade will also feature 160 marching units and floats, including old favorites such as the Mummers of Philadelphia and Shriners from Hagerstown and Baltimore; 17 marching bands, many from high schools as far away as Westminster and the Eastern Shore; a steam-powered calliope; local radio and TV personalities; and performers such as Suzanne Muldowney, of New Jersey, who is best known for portraying the cartoon character Underdog in the parade, but this year will be performing as "Yellow Angel," Kerr said.

Also on hand, of course, will be Santa Claus.

Kerr said new to this year's parade will be a station wagon representing the new movie "Vacation," a reboot of the 1983 original that starred Chevy Chase.

Kerr, who has organized the parade since its inception in 1972 at the behest of then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer, announced in 2011 that he would step down the next year, but Kerr seems to have caught a second wind — or 42nd wind. He said the hardest part is raising the $34,000 it costs to put on the parade.

As of Nov. 18, Kerr had raised all but $1,700 of that amount. A fundraiser was planned Nov. 30 at Hon Bar, on The Avenue.

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