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Things To Do

Rock the holiday with these parades, tree lightings and boat parades

Whether you like parades, Christmas trees or the sea, these events are sure to get you out and about in San Diego — as well as in the holiday spirit.

12.6: Coronado Holiday Parade

Brighten up your yuletide season at this traditional hometown parade set to a soundtrack of carolers and offering one lucky family the opportunity to illuminate Star Pine, the community’s colossal conifer.

Along Orange Avenue, Coronado, coronadochamber.com

A photo of Coronado Holiday Parade
Coronado Holiday Parade
(Kel Casey Photography)

12.7: Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

Shop for gifts, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and behold the brilliance of Little Italy’s 25-foot-tall tree while traipsing past festive decor, listening to live music and stumbling upon seasonal surprises sprinkled throughout the neighborhood.

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Piazza della Famiglia, Little Italy, littleitalysd.com

A photo of Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village
Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village
(Douglas Gates)

12.7: Chula Vista Starlight Parade

Bring the whole family to this holiday parade that includes real snow, an elf-yourself station and pictures with St. Nick himself.

Memorial Park, Chula Vista, starlightparade.com

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A photo of Chula Vista Starlight Parade
Chula Vista Starlight Parade
(Courtesy photo)

12.7: Encinitas Holiday Parade

Schmooze your way onto one of the hundred-or-so floats or join the throngs of cheering spectators during this 62nd annual Coast Highway tradition that culminates with a tree-lighting ceremony and a cameo by Kris Kringle.

Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, encinitaschamber.com

12.7: Vista Christmas Parade

See some of Vista’s best and brightest marching bands, cheerleaders and community groups during this parade that also includes horses, classic cars and Santa Claus waving from a fire engine.

Historic Downtown Vista Village, Vista, vistachamber.chambermaster.com

A photo of Vista Christmas Parade
Vista Christmas Parade
(Mason Manuto)

12.7: 40th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade

Following a theme of “Miracle on Newport Avenue” and featuring classic Woodies, VW Beetles and the Roller Derby Dolls, O.B.’s holiday parade is bound to bring out the neighborhood’s best.

Along Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach, obtowncouncil.org

A photo of Ocean Beach Holiday Parade
Ocean Beach Holiday Parade
(John Gibbins)
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12.8: La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission with a “Christmas on the Moon” theme, this year’s parade through downtown La Jolla kicks off with an antique-aircraft flyover before giving guests of a glimpse of the community’s clubs, groups and performers.

Throughout the Village of La Jolla, ljparade.com

12.8: 56th Annual North Park Toyland Parade

Marching bands, vintage cars, creative floats and more bounce between Utah Street and Iowa Street during this yearly yuletide event.

Along University Avenue, North Park, explorenorthpark.com

12.8 and 12.15: 48th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Eighty lavishly decorated boats embrace this year’s theme of “Comic-Con on the Bay” as this time-honored holiday tradition dazzles 100,000 locals gathered around the bayfront.

Viewing areas around San Diego Bay, sdparadeoflights.org

A photo of San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune)

12.14: PB Holiday Parade

Following the neighborhood’s Santa Run, Garnet Avenue will remain closed as numerous community groups and Pacific Beach businesses strut their stuff in one of the city’s oldest holiday parades.

Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach, pacificbeach.org

A photo of PB Holiday Parade
PB Holiday Parade
(Howard Lipin/The San Diego-Union-Tribune)
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12.14: Mission Bay Parade of Lights

In this distinctly Californian celebration, an armada of vessels themed for the season cruises throughout the waters of Mission Bay.

Santa Clara Point, Mission Bay, mbyc.org

12.14: Oceanside Parade of Lights

Bring a blanket, a jacket and some cocoa to sip on while watching decked-out boats of all shapes and sizes in this seasonal seafaring celebration along O’side’s coast.

Oceanside Harbor, Oceanside, visitoceanside.org

A photo of Oceanside harbor
Oceanside harbor
(Hayne Palmour IV)

12.15: Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Pet owners and their furry, feathered or scaled friends are invited to don costumes and compete for prizes in several categories during this playful romp through the Gaslamp Quarter.

MLK Promenade Park, Gaslamp Quarter, gaslamp.org

A photo of Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
(Nancee E. Lewis)


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