Sunday’s La Jolla Christmas Parade is ready to roll

The 55th annual Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival starts 2 p.m. Dec. 2 down Girard Avenue. A festival and tree lighting follows 3:30 p.m. at the Rec Center.

By Ashley Mackin

The La Jolla parade, “Christmas in the Village,” is back for the 55th year to ring in the holiday season for residents and visitors alike, beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2 down Girard Avenue.

Despite funding concerns (organizers were $5,000 short as of Nov. 20), Parade Chair Ann Kerr said “We’re going to go ahead with the parade. I’m confident.” Kerr added that people could continue to donate to the cause because some parade bills are not due until January.

Several classic attractions are returning to the lineup this year, along with some new participants and partnerships. The popular equestrians and their horses will arrive at 10 a.m. to their designated space on Girard Avenue between Kline Street and Virginia Way.

Also back, after a hiatus, is the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, and The Living Nativity, fire engines, marching bands and units, classic cars, business and civic floats, youth marshals and a color guard.

San Diego Mayor-elect Bob Filner, District 1 Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, and 52nd District Congressman Scott Peters are expected to join the festivities. The Innovation Marshall will be new UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla.

Girard Gourmet’s Diana and Francois Goedhuys will serve as Grand Marshals, along with Cultural Marshal Erika Torri, Educational Marshal Reggie Smith, Marine Marshal Nigella Holgarth, Military Marshal Charles Hartford and a dozen youth marshals representing local schools.

Kerr said the Parade and Festival is a great opportunity for young performers. “It gives kids who have been working hard to achieve skills in dance or gymnastics or marching, a chance to show them off,” she said.

Street closures on Dec. 2

The day of the parade, there will be several street closures starting at 10 a.m. Cars not involved with the parade will be towed. Streets closed to make room for the parade include both sides of: Girard Avenue between Torrey Pines and Kline; Kline Street between Ivanhoe and Fay; Herschel Avenue between Torrey Pines and Silverado; and Drury Lane Alley between Kline and Pearl.

Starting at noon, additional streets will be closed and cars will be towed. They are both sides of: Girard Avenue between Kline and Prospect; Prospect Street between Girard and La Jolla Boulevard, including the Cuvier cul- de-sac, and Draper Avenue between Silverado and Kline, Prospect between Herschel, the side alley of Herschel and the Dip.

Other streets will be closed starting at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate floats and miscellaneous vehicles. These streets are: Herschel Avenue between Silverado and Torrey Pines; Kline Street between Ivanhoe and Girard; and Kline Street between Girard and Drury Lane.

The parade and holiday festsival is organized and conducted by volunteers and is fully funded through sponsorships and donations. More than 20,000 attendees and participants come out each year.

“A big part of it is that it truly is a La Jolla tradition,” Kerr said. “I know, for example, many people have said that they were in the parade when they were kids and their moms were in the parade, and their grandmothers, so multi-generations come out and watch it.”

For more information, visit

La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival

Sunday, Dec. 2

10 a.m.: Equestrians arrive

Noon: Judging of floats, antique aircraft fly-over

2 p.m.: Parade begins at Girard and Kline, moves down Girard to Prospect Street to Silverado Street

3:30 p.m.: Holiday Festival begins at Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. Photos with Santa

4:30 p.m.: Christmas tree lighting at Rec Center