12 San Diego Holiday Parades to Brighten your Season

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Four-legged family members get in on the excitement at the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade

Get into the spirit of the season with dressed-up dogs, vintage cars, balloons and more at these 12 San Diego holiday parades.

Edited by Lisa Kelley

Whether cruising along the coast or marching, walking, dancing or rolling down the street, San Diego has an immense collection of annual parades to get even the grinches and scrooges in the holiday spirit. Here’s where you can catch them.

Coronado Christmas Parade and Open House
Dec. 2. Be a part of the annual festivities with a parade along Orange Avenue, the lighting of a 50-foot Christmas tree and a holiday concert. Coronado, 619.437.8788. coronadochamber.com

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La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival

53rd Annual North Park Toyland Parade and Festival
Dec. 3. The parade features a slew of celebrations, plus beauty queens, dance groups, vintage cars, bands and floats, as well as a holiday fair behind the historical North Park Theatre. University Ave., North Park, 619.269.7880. toylandparade.com

Ocean Beach Holiday Parade
Dec. 3. Check out Ocean Beach’s 37th annual holiday parade, as Newport Avenue fills with colorful floats, classic VW Beetles and Woodies, bands, motorcycles and more. In celebration of the O.B. Pier’s 50th anniversary, the theme this year is “The Year of the Pier with Holiday Cheer.” 5-7 p.m., Ocean Beach. obtowncouncil.org

Encinitas Holiday Parade
Dec. 3. Step back in time as you catch the Encinitas holiday parade. This year’s theme “Encinitas86” celebrates 30 years since becoming a city in 1986—the year of Top Gun, mullets and shoulder pads. 5:30 p.m. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas. ci.encinitas.ca.us

Chula Vista Starlight Parade
Dec. 3. Grab a good viewing spot for Chula Vista’s annual Starlight Parade in the historic Third Avenue Village. In the festival area, kids of all ages will love playing on Frosty’s Snow Hill. Chula Vista. starlightparade.com

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Chula Vista Starlight Parade

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival
Dec. 4. Enjoy the holidays in La Jolla glory, at the 59th annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, with vintage automobiles, equestrian units, floats, marching bands and a Santa Claus appearance. Girard Ave., La Jolla. ljparade.com

Pacific Beach Holiday Parade
Dec. 10. There’s nothing quite like parading through Pacific Beach as the route winds just steps from the ocean. Catch marching bands, clubs, music and more. 1 p.m. Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach. pacificbeach.org

Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights
Dec. 10. More than 100 illuminated vessels parade along Mission Bay starting at 6 p.m., followed by a fireworks show at 9 p.m. above SeaWorld. Best viewing is from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island. Mission Bay, 858.488.0501. mbyc.org

Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights
Dec. 10. The Oceanside Yacht Club hosts this annual harbor boat parade of lights with contests for best decorated power, sail and small craft vessels. oceansideyc.net

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Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
Dec. 11. It’s a fabulous holiday fete for the pets! Pooches will dress up as Santa, elves, reindeer and everything in between and march down the festive streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, starting and ending at Hilton Gaslamp Park. Also enjoy a free pet expo. 1-5 p.m. 401 K St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.5227. gaslamp.org

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
Dec. 11, 18. See San Diego Bay twinkle with more than 100 private boats decked out with holiday lights for a festive night on the water. This year celebrates the San Diego Zoo’s centennial anniversary with the theme, “It Began with a Roar.” Downtown, 619.224.2240. sdparadeoflights.org

Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade
Dec. 27. Gaze at the massive displays at the country’s largest balloon parade along the bay, plus floats and marching bands. Grandstands are located at the intersection of Harbor Dr., and Ash St. Embarcadero, downtown, sandiegobowlgames.com

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