San Diego: This Weekend (Nov. 30-Dec. 3)

The holidays are in full swing with several tree lighting events and parades around San Diego, plus the SoNo Chili Cookoff and the Island Food and Beer Fest.

The holidays are in full swing with several tree lighting events and parades around San Diego, plus the SoNo Chili Cookoff and the Island Food and Beer Fest.

12.1: 42nd Annual Holiday Parade

Start the yuletide season in style at this traditional hometown parade set to a soundtrack of carolers. One lucky family will have the chance to light up Star Pine, the island community’s giant holiday tree.  Michael Benninger

Rotary Plaza, Coronado,

Coronado Holiday Parade

Coronado Holiday Parade.

Courtesy photo

12.1 Elephante 

After releasing his full-length debut album last year, Michigan-born Harvard grad Tim Wu has released a pair of singles in 2017: May’s Troubled (feat. Deb’s Daughter) and the October-released Come Back For you (feat. Matluck).  Scott McDonald

OMNIA, downtown,



Oh Dag Yo Photography

12.1 12th Planet 

John Dadzie, aka dubstep/drum & bass DJ 12th Planet, has worked extensively with Skrillex and been seen at Coachella, Ultra, and Electric Daisy Carnival. His five-song Let Us Prey EP dropped in September.  Scott McDonald

Bassmnt, downtown

12th Planet

12th Planet.

Kenny Ong

12.1, 2: 40th Annual December Nights

Admission to this iconic two-day extravaganza includes international food samples, plus access to exhibitions and entertainment at the park’s many museums.  Michael Benninger

Balboa Park,

December Nights

December Nights in Balboa Park.

Courtesy photo

12.2: 54th Annual North Park Toyland Parade & Festival

Marching bands, vintage cars, beauty queens and more stroll between Utah and Iowa streets during this festive event.  Michael Benninger

University Avenue, North Park,

North Park Toyland Parade

North Park Toyland Parade.

Nelvin C. Cepeda

12.2 South Park Walkabout 

Stroll, shop and migle with South Park neighbors during this annual holiday tradition. The evening will include a tree lighting with Santa outside The Big Kitchen.

Kalmia and 30th streets, extending south to Beech Street, South Park,

3/23/13 South Park Walkabout
Arlene Ibarra

12.2: 2017 Encinitas Holiday Parade

Schmooze your way onto any of nearly 100 floats or join the throngs of cheering spectators during this Coast Highway tradition that culminates with a tree-lighting ceremony and a cameo by Kris Kringle.  Michael Benninger

Coast Highway 101, Encinitas,

Encinitas Holiday Parade

Encinitas Holiday Parade.

Courtesy photo

12.2: 19th Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

Enjoy holiday shopping, horse-carriage rides and a 25-foot poinsettia tower while soaking in Little Italy’s charm amid live entertainment and an endless variety of holiday treats.  Michael Benninger

India Street, Little Italy,


Little Italy Christmas lighting.

Courtesy photo

12.2: Island Food and Beer Fest

Knock back unlimited tastings of locally brewed beer, then soak up those suds with delicious dishes from the Pacific Islands prepared by some legendary local restaurants.  Michael Benninger

Waterfront Park, Little Italy,

Island Food and Beer Fest

Island Food and Beer Fest.

Courtesy photo

12.2: Chula Vista Starlight Parade

Bring the family to this holiday-themed parade including a snack alley, science and technology labs, and Mrs. Claus’ gingerbread bounce house.  Michael Benninger

Third Avenue Village, Chula Vista,

Chula Vista Starlight parade

Chula Vista Starlight Parade.

David Hodges /

12.2 Groundwater 

Swapping two days for one, and coming a bit later than last year’s October event, Groundwater’s current visit includes heavy-hitting house DJs Maya Jane Coles, Claptone, and Felix Da Housecat. Headliner and Dirtybird Records boss Claude VonStroke teamed with Will Clarke and Sebastien V on August’s two-song single, Works Well With Others Scott McDonald

The Park at Petco Park, East Village,

Claude VonStroke

Claude VonStroke.

Courtesy photo

12.2: 59th Annual Vista Christmas Parade

See some of Vista’s best and brightest community groups during this parade that commences at the Civic Center and winds down at the Wave Waterpark.  Michael Benninger

Civic Center, Vista,

Vista Christmas Parade

Vista Christmas Parade.

John Koster

12.2: 38th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade

With a theme of California Dreamin’ in the Season of Love, and showcasing classic Woodies, VW Beetles, and the Roller Derby Dolls, O.B.’s holiday parade is bound to bring out the neighborhood’s best.  Michael Benninger

Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach,

OB Holiday Parade

Ocean Beach Holiday Parade.

John Gibbins / San Diego Union-Tribune

12.2: Sugar Rush 5K

In this unique exhibit of athleticism, participants consume a Krispy Kreme Donut at each mile marker before celebrating over games such as corn hole, giant checkers and ladder ball.  Michael Benninger

Embarcadero Marina Park North, Little Italy,

Sugar Rush 5k

Sugar Rush 5k.

Courtesy photo

12.3: Holiday Bazaar

Cross any remaining names off your shopping list at this pop-up holiday market offering a curated selection of local fashion, handmade gifts and vintage treasures from 150 vendors.  Michael Benninger

Corky McMillin Event Center, Liberty Station,

Holiday Bazaar

The Local Holiday Bazaar.

Rachael Smith Photography

12.3: 60th Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival

Sporting a new Christmas Jewels theme for 2017, this yearly parade through downtown La Jolla gives guests a glimpse of the community’s incredible talent.  Michael Benninger

Girard Avenue, La Jolla,

La Jolla Holiday Parade

La Jolla Holiday Parade.

Courtesy photo

12.3: SoNo Fest Chili Cook-Off

More than three dozen of the city’s best restaurants compete in this chili smackdown brimming with craft beverages, three stages of live music and food trucks (for those who abhor beans).  Michael Benninger

32nd and Thorn streets, North Park,

Sono Chili Cook Off

Sono Chili Cook-Off.

Courtesy photo

12.3: 5th Annual Over the Edge for Brain Cancer

Try not to lose your lunch while rappelling down the tallest building on downtown’s waterfront during this no-experience-necessary event benefiting brain-cancer research.  Michael Benninger

Manchester Grand Hyatt, downtown,

Over the Edge

Over the Edge for Brain Cancer event.

Christopher Cochran