Chula Vista will kick off the holiday season this weekend with a long-standing tradition: the Starlight Parade in the heart of the community.
With festive lights and holiday cheer, the free parade goes down this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the historic Third Avenue Village. The route makes its way across Third Avenue, between E and H streets, shining the spotlight on dozens of car clubs, marching bands, local schools, dance groups and other Chula Vista groups.
There's even a little bit of friendly competition.
Parade participants will compete in 12 categories including first, second and third place marching band, dance teams, car clubs, most creative, bands and many more.
Some of the current entrants marching in the parade include Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, the Lowrider Community of San Diego and marching bands from Castle Park Middle and High schools.
The community event begins long before the parade hits Third Avenue. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., kids of all ages can play in a snow area called Frosty’s Snow Hill at Children’s Faire in Memorial Park. There will also be a Gingerbread bounce house and a train that the little ones can ride, plus a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.
And, what's a party without food and drinks?
The jolly affair will boast a so-called "snack alley," where vendors will sell a variety of tasty treats, from popcorn to tamales. Revelers age 21 and older can toast to the season, too, with a couple of specialty craft brews: the Chula Vista Brewing Company’s Starlight Parade beer and 3 Punk Ales' Mexican Mocha Stout beer.