Preview: Chula Vista Starlight Parade 2016

Saturday's Starlight Parade starts at 6 p.m. down Third Avenue, between E and H streets

With twinkling lights galore, Chula Vista will kick off the holiday season this weekend with its longtime Starlight Parade in the heart of the community.

The Chula Vista Starlight Parade begins at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Third Avenue Village, on Third Avenue between E and H streets. The free community event – going strong for more than 50 years – features dozens of local school groups, bands, dance groups, car clubs and more marching downtown.

Parade participants compete for trophies in 12 categories including first, second and third place marching band, best presentation of a holiday theme, best use of lights and best dance, to name a few.

Organizers say this year’s parade will feature a “snack alley” where vendors will sell treats – from popcorn to funnel cake. From noon to 5 p.m., kids of all ages can play in the snow in an area dubbed “Frosty’s Snow Hill” near the parade route.

The Starlight Parade is the highlight of a day filled with festive events in Chula Vista.

Prior to the parade, the Third Avenue Village Association (TAVA) will host its 5th annual Holiday in the Village festival from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Memorial Park and at some participating merchants along Third Avenue.

The fest includes live music – including a 2:45 p.m. performance by the San Diego Youth Symphony – crafts and photo opportunities for the little ones with holiday characters. Attendees can also take part in an Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest at 3:45 p.m.

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