Christmas Parade to jingle La Jolla’s bells on Sunday, Dec. 8

A scene from a previous La Jolla Christmas Parade. The 2019 event starts 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 with the parade route on Girard Avenue and Prospect Street. A Holiday Festival outside the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St., runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the start of the parade.

To fill the air with the sights and sounds of the season for the 62nd year, the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival returns to the Village of La Jolla, starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.

The 2019 theme is “Christmas on the Moon” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk. In line with this theme, astronaut and International Space Station Commander R. Shane Kimbrough will ride in the parade as its first “space” marshal, courtesy of the NASA Astronaut Appearance Program. Other marshals will include longtime La Jolla business leader “Papa” Doug Manchester (philanthropy), Peter and Peggy Preuss (civic), Brett Murphy (sports) and brigadier general Ryan Heritage (military).

Former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory will serve as grand marshal.

The 90-minute parade will start on Girard Avenue at Kline Street and proceed toward Prospect Street, making its way toward the La Jolla Recreation Center. No-parking rules in the impacted areas will be strictly enforced on the day of the event.

The Holiday Festival, featuring staged entertainment and photos with Santa, will precede the parade, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St. (Prior to 2018, the festival was held at the Rec Center after the parade.)

Among the parade’s traditional participants — equestrian units, hometown floats, high school marching bands, civic leaders, beauty queens, community groups and Santa Claus — will be many special guests and a few surprises.

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