‘The Sounds of Christmas’: Date, theme, marshals set for La Jolla parade


Jingle bells were ringing at La Valencia Hotel, Sept. 26, where La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival chair Ann Kerr Bache announced the theme and marshals for the 2018 parade during a mini celebration.

The 61st annual parade, “The Sounds of Christmas,” will roll through The Village beginning at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.

“A Parade tradition is to honor people in the community — La Jolla and San Diego — who make an above-and-beyond contribution (to the general welfare),” she said. “There are a lot of people who are pretty powerful and do a lot for the community and don’t ask for anything in return. They are just outstanding individuals who work behind the scenes.”

Kerr Bache offered a few words about each of the parade marshals in attendance, and recognized those who weren’t.

For his “many contributions to La Jolla,” La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club president and Parade co-chair, William Kellogg, will serve as Grand Marshal. “Besides being a luminary in the world of tennis, and saving the Mt. Soledad Memorial, we’re honoring Bill as the Grand Marshal for all his activities in the community,” Kerr Bache said.

Honorary Parade Marshals will be San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit (Civic), Kristi Pieper (Community), Athenaeum Music & Arts Library executive director Erika Torri (Cultural), Mike Glancy (Floatology), John and Karin Donaldson (Philanthropic), Dawn Barry (Technology) and USO San Diego CEO Lorin Stuart (Military).

“Kristi Pieper is a major force in the world of philanthropy,” Kerr Bache said of the Community Marshal. “She is always on the foundations (of her children’s schools) and always raising money. She participated in the recent CHEERS gala and raised $112,000 for women’s health.”

Glancy, who has been creating floats for the parade for several years, owns Erling Rohde Plumbing and Moonglow Design Gallery in Bird Rock. “We created a new category this year for Mike; he is the Floatology Marshal,” Kerr Bache explained.

Crediting Military Marshal Stuart for his innovative ideas, Kerr Bache added, “Instead of military families coming to the USO, Stuart has developed mobile vans that go to the communities where military families live.”

Calling Technology Marshal Barry “an amazing force,” she explained that Barry is president of a new company called Luna DNA that “captures people’s DNA to create a health data platform that can provide information for unusual diagnostics. It’s the wave of the future.”

The Donaldsons previously served as Philanthropy Marshals and will reprieve their roles this year.

The parade line-up

Per press material, the Parade will start at Girard Avenue at Kline Street with an Antique Aircraft Flyover, led by Bill Allen and the Antique Aircraft Museum planes. Dozens of floats, bands, marching units, equestrians, vintage vehicles, fire engines and beauty queens will travel the route, turning left at Prospect Street and ending up at the Rec Center. A “Parade of Packards,” courtesy of the San Diego Packard Club, will carry the Marshals and VIPs.

The concurrent Holiday Festival will revive a past tradition and provide entertainment and photos with Santa before the Parade. Once again, Santa will return, courtesy of La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club in his “sleigh,” the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club’s Old Black Goose, a 1915 Packard Convertible.

Float registration is underway, but Kerr Bache said slots are quickly filling up. The committee is accepting donations to offset permit fees, security, and other parade-related costs. To make a donation, visit