It’s the most wonderful time of the year to settle into a spot along your favorite holiday parade route in San Diego. Marching bands will join Santa Claus in parades from Chula Vista to Oceanside and everywhere in between.
Central San Diego:
North Park Toyland Parade & Festival
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 8, University Avenue
Proudly presented by North Park Lions Club, this parade almost didn’t happen last year after the organizer, Victoria House Corporation, ran out of funds and canceled the event. Another organization, North Park Main Street, saved the holiday tradition and put out a call to local businesses and volunteers, and the community banded together. The parade is held along University Avenue between Utah and Iowa Street, rain or shine.
Port of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
5 p.m. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, San Diego Bay
A tried and true San Diego tradition, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights features more than 80 lavishly decorated boats sailing along downtown's waterfront. Spectators know and love this parade, and file onto the shoreline to watch the dazzling lights drifting on the water. This free event can be viewed from anywhere along the parade path, including the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, Pier at Cesar Chavez Park and the Ferry Landing in Coronado.
Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade
3 p.m. on Dec. 26, Downtown San Diego
America's "largest balloon parade" returns this holiday season as it fills the scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego with world-class marching bands, magnificent floats, entertaining drill teams, and a procession of enormous balloons. The parade starts in front of the County Administration Building near the waterfront and, as always, proceeds down North Harbor Drive.
Coronado Holiday Parade
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 6, Orange Avenue
The parade will run from 8th and Orange Avenue to RH Dana Place, before turning around and heading back the way it came.
Ocean Beach Holiday Parade
5:05 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 7., Newport Avenue in OB
Newport Avenue will hopefully be lined with colorful OBceans and visitors all eagerly awaiting the commencement of the 39th Annual OB Holiday Parade. This year's theme is "Miracle On Newport Ave!"
Encinitas Holiday Parade
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 7, Coast Highway 101
More than 100 parade participants will roll, march, cycle, scoot and cruise down the Coast Highway in the scenic beach community.
La Jolla Christmas Parade
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 8, Girard Avenue
This parade will head west on Girard Avenue and turn left onto Prospect Street, ending at Prospect Street and Silverado Avenue. The festival portion is in front of the Athenaeum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 14, Oceanside Harbor
All types of boats will be dressed-up in holiday swag while they circle Oceanside Harbor.
Chula Vista Starlight Parade
5 p.m. on Dec. 7, Third Avenue
The parade travels along the Western side of Third Avenue and travels north from H Street to E Street. The "faire" will be in Memorial Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and includes pictures with Santa, a real-snow hill, and prizes and more.
These parades are just some of the many holiday-themed processions happening throughout San Diego County this season. Check with your local community to see if there’s a parade or festival happening near you.