By Ann Kerr Bache
Chair, LJTC Christmas Parade and Holiday FestivalThe 54th Annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival will kickoff from Girard and Kline at 2 p.m. Dec. 4.
Our Theme is “Classic Christmas” and as is our tradition to honor locals who have made major contributions to the community, we have selected June Barrymore Ash as Grand Marshal. We are fortunate to have June in our parade, as she was one of the original instigators of the tradition, driving her classic cars down the Avenue in the first La Jolla Christmas Parade.
In recognition of their many years of support to the community, Bob White of the Ascot Shop and Bob Meanley of Meanley Hardware are being honored as Goodwill Marshals and Nancy Warwick of Warwick’s and Dennis Wills of D.G are being honored as Traditional Marshals.
Neil Ash is being honored as Military Marshal for his distinguished military and civic career, not least of which is establishing the Neil Ash USO Airport Center at Lindbergh Field, the largest in the world.
Students nominated from the public and private local schools for their exceptional service to the community will be honored and will join the Parade as Youth Marshals.
The parade will be followed by the Holiday Festival at the Rec Center, ending with the lighting of the Christmas Tree sponsored by the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary Club and GDC Construction.
The parade and restival attract thousands of attendees and participants — many come back every year and are multi-generational participants and attendees. The parade is unique in that it is organized and conducted by community volunteers and is fully funded through community sponsorships and donations. Many organizations, businesses and residents have already generously contributed and we ask you to consider a donation.
We are extremely grateful to Audrey Geisel and The Seuss Foundation for her generous and early donation that allows us to begin the planning. But we need your help. Last year more than 70 percent of the funding came from local businesses and residents — a tradition we hope to continue.
There are many ways to contribute and opportunities for promoting your business through our website and in the Official Parade Program. The website www.ljparade.com will continue to be updated and will include maps of the parade, parking and towing information and everything needed to register and participate can be found there.
We are working with the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, especially Kate Brainard, manager of Pharmaca, to attract more “shoppers and spenders” before and after the parade. Your ideas are welcome and your business is invited to utilize this opportunity.
Join the parade by registering by Nov. 15 or volunteer to help and/or consider a donation to support the parade. We are in need of vintage vehicles and convertibles to carry our Marshals and VIPs. Check out our website at https://www.ljparade.com.