Village to sparkle with parade Sunday

Rain or shine, the 51st annual La Jolla Christmas Parade sponsored annually by La Jolla Town Council will start at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Village.

The parade route stretches along Girard Avenue from Kline Street to Prospect Street, culminating at La Jolla Rec Center, where it will be followed up with a family-oriented holiday festival hosted by La Jolla Parks and Rec and lighting of the community Christmas tree.

“The festival has access to the interior of the rec center for things like the band which can’t be in the rain,” said Town Council President Darcy Ashley, who is coordinating this year’s event, regarding the possibility of inclement weather.

Due to the economic downturn, the parade ran into financial trouble early, but was bailed out by widespread community support.

“Combinations of pledges and donations are still coming in,” Ashley said.

Parade of history

With its “History on Parade” theme, the parade will have everything from equestrians and car aficionados to marching bands, dancers and drill teams.

Two local community planning groups have floats entered - La Jolla Shores Association and Bird Rock Community Council.

“We haven’t had a float in a couple of years,” noted Bird Rock council president Joe La Cava. “It blends in with the theme of surfing legends, taking the Bird Rock logo with the pelican and fashioning a Bird Rock. It will be very kid-oriented.”

There are also two window-decorating contests, one sponsored by the Town Council and the other by the La Jolla Light.

Decor in store

Merchants in La Jolla’s downtown Village are dressing up their windows and storefronts, which will be judged in several categories - most traditional, modern, outrageous, beachy and best 1800s period motif - vying for the Town Council’s first- and second-place ribbons. That contest runs through this Friday.

Village merchants, like Sigi’s Boutique at 7888 Girard Ave., are really getting into the spirit of holiday decorating.

“I decided to make a beautiful gown out of gumdrops and there are over 2,000 of them, 60 pounds worth,” said Phyllis Lanphier, owner of the 40-year old European women’s apparel boutique. “I came up with the idea and the concept, and two of my employees, Amanda and Angela, made it.”

Why did Lanphier do it? “It’s just really about people stopping, and smiling,” she said, “and looking at something festive and beautiful and feeling good this Christmas.”

The Light’s holiday decoration contest is open to all residential and commercial residents. The prize is a $50 gift certificate for Jonathan’s Market in La Jolla. For details on the contest, go to