Balboa Park December Nights, By the Numbers

The 39th annual holiday event at Balboa Park runs from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 2, and noon to 11 p.m. on Dec. 3

Balboa Park December Nights, billed as the nation’s premiere holiday festival, will take place for the 39th consecutive year this Friday and Saturday. But what does it take to make such a large-scale event happen? 

This is the largest free community festival in San Diego. It takes a massive numbers of things and people to put on, and attracts hundreds of thousands to Balboa Park.

With that in mind, here is December Nights by the numbers:

  • 350,000 visitors over the two days
  • 7 Santa Clauses
  • 700 poinsettias
  • 9 stages
  • 105 musical and holiday performances
  • 2 huge Christmas Trees
  • 9 different restaurants
  • 75 food vendors
  • 163 volunteers
  • 39 consecutive years December Nights has occurred
  • 34 International cottages participating with holiday programs
  • 29 participating institutions

And after all those large numbers, we must also pass this numerical fact along. There are very few parking spaces.

Tomas Herrera-Mishler, the President of the Balboa Conservancy, recommends this: “Come early and consider parking remotely. We have a free shuttle running to the park from a parking structure on Ash Street between 4th and 5th.”

Maybe the most important numbers about December Nights involve when it takes place: December Nights is Dec. 2, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Dec. 3, from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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