Lights will grace the night sky in San Diego for the 47th year in a row as the annual parade of lights hits the streets December 16th. The parade is recognized as one of the biggest and most successful in Southern California, and includes floats and marchers, lights, music, and more. Every year, the parade is setup around a theme. This theme sets the backdrop for each float and lighting display, and this year San Diego has chosen a tropical island Christmas as its theme.
Being that San Diego is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, this theme is totally on point with the lifestyle and décor many San Diegans choose to display daily. In fact, many involved in the parade this year are choosing to use their boats as floats, rather than a land vehicle. The current lineup for the parade suggests that more than 80 different boats will be on display, glittering and gleaming for all to say.
Due to the type of vehicle being used in the parade, sizing of floats fluctuates from team to team. Some of the boats used as floats are mere dinghies, while others stretch an impressive 120-feet. Each boat is decorated around the tropical island Christmas theme, as well as within the tastes of the individual contestants, making it a unique spectacle to behold, whether you’re a Christmas lover, or a nautical enthusiast.
From sailors to classroom teachers, the event brings the best and brightest from around San Diego, with their most glitzy lights. The display will light up the streets of the city, as music plays and crowds march. The fire department and police department have made it clear that they wish everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time at the event, going so far as to remind citizens that it’s important to stay away from the moving floats, and especially to keep children within eyesight and arms reach at all time.
San Diego may be a united city front, but there are many locations within the city to see the parade as it passes by. The parade will begin its long trek out into the city at Shelter Island at 5pm. As the bands start to play and the floats begin to glide through town, marchers will continue onto Harbor Island for 5 and The Embarcadero for 6. As the festivities kick it off, dwellers of Seaport Village and Cezar Chaves Park Pier can expect the ensemble from 630-645, when they will reach a finale on Coronado at the ferry landing for 7pm.
This is a family friendly event and you can expect to see vendors out selling hot chocolate, popcorn, candy canes, and other festive sweets, treats, and beverages along the way. These snacks will depend on your area and the businesses taking part at the time. If you don’t see any vendors handing out cocoa, fear not! You can always pick up a hot drink on the way and sip it street side while you watch the events unfold.
To all attending, stay safe and have fun!