“Miracle on Hollywood Boulevard” Picture

Churches of Scientology throughout Los Angeles hold numerous events in support of charitable and human rights causes, and contribute to those held by other community groups. But they also help produce many other events and functions to enhance the community and to entertain both residents and visitors.

      Each holiday season since 1983, the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles has sponsored Winter Wonderland, a tradition begun by L. Ron Hubbard with the gift of a giant Christmas tree to Hollywood’s citizens and visitors. The tradition has continued through the efforts of Scientologists and local churches of Scientology, which each year help make Hollywood Boulevard a location where families can enjoy a festive holiday setting, at no charge. Attendance at the 1996 Winter Wonderland exceeded any of the years past, with more than 500,000 touring the site from throughout Southern California and indeed from all over the world.

      That year’s festival featured a man-made “snowstorm” on December 24 with no less than 10 tons of snow, which capped weeks of skits, dancing, musical performances and other celebrations. The festivities started on December 7, when Santa Claus, portrayed by veteran stunt man “Wild Bill” Mock, descended from his helicopter onto his Christmas home – as he has each holiday season for the last 14 years. Picture

      The classic winter setting, dubbed by passers-by the “Miracle on Hollywood Boulevard,” featured Santa’s house surrounded by a forest of evergreens – including a 65-foot fir tree, the tallest in Los Angeles – beneath an 80-foot backdrop of the famed Hollywood Hills, decked with snow.

      Bill Welsh, president emeritus of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, was among the many well-wishers on hand when the centerpiece Christmas tree arrived. “I think it’s an important and beautiful addition to the way we in Hollywood celebrate the holidays,” he said.

A New Spirit in Los Angeles, continued...

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