Thousands expected at Balboa Park for ‘December Nights’


More than 300,000 people were expected to flock to Balboa Park on Friday and Saturday for the 32nd annual “December Nights.”

The two-day event, which is touted as San Diego’s largest free community festival, runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Highlights of the event include theatrical performances, international choirs, dance presentations, elaborate holiday light displays, attractions, a Christmas tree and a marketplace.

There will be a “Christmas on the Prado” exhibition with food from around the globe, a Santa Lucia procession, gift shopping, music and artisans from Spanish Village. Balboa Park museums will open their doors free of charge from 5 to 9 p.m. both days.

There will also be a “My Ancestors Village” exhibit on traditional Native American culture sponsored by the Barona Band of Mission Indians and displays of holiday traditions from more than 30 countries at the “International Cottage Christmas Festival.”

To avoid the crowds, attendees were encouraged to use free off-site shuttles from Petco Park, the San Diego County Administration Building and City College, or public transit.