La Jolla Christmas Parade
La Jolla Christmas Parade has existed for over 55 years. With so many years of experience, this parade is one of the best ones around town. The La Jolla Town Council, in combination with numerous other organizations, financial supporters, and volunteers, manage to organize over 1200 participants into a coherent and festive event. This home-grown, family-friendly parade brings-in over 20,000 spectators who line the streets and cheer everyone along.
Parades change year to year and there are always new additions and last minute changes. But some things are for certain; expect to see:
Antique airplanes fly overhead to kick-start the parade.
Antique cars, sports cars, convertibles, and buses too.
Marching bands and floats.
Boy scouts, girl scouts, and Montessori preschoolers.
Dance troupes and various organizations
Horses, dogs, and maybe even a camel!
Politicians, prominent members of society, firemen, and military representatives all take a turn strolling down the parade route.
The parade goes on for a little under 2 hours and you know that it's finished when...
... you see Santa Claus riding the "Old Black Goose" (a Packard Twin Six automobile from 1915). It's called the Old Black Goose because it is old, it is black, and it honks!
After the La Jolla Christmas parade, be sure to join the festivities at the La Jolla Recreation Center (3:30 pm to 5 pm). Here you will find a live band, games, crafts, a jumpie, and light refreshments.
Don't forget to take a picture with Santa Claus. The Rec center has an extensive playground suitable for children of all ages.
The day closes with the lighting of the large tree at the corner of Prospect and Draper. The tree is decorated by the Sunrise Rotary club.
The 42,000 residents of La Jolla are proud to host the La Jolla Christmas Parade for over 55 years (parade expenses are paid for by donations from the community). The event is a great show of community spirit and participation. It's colorful, it's lively, and it's good ole fashion fun. If you like parades, this one shouldn't be missed.
Location, Hours, Parking
La Jolla Christmas Parade
start: corner of Girard Ave & Kline St
continue: south on Prospect Street
finish: corner of Prospect & Draper
see parade map
at La Jolla Recreation Center
615 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA
Parking is a hassle. Use public transportation or plan to arrive early to find parking. The parade itself only occupies 2 streets: Girard and Prospect; however, participants congregate hours before the parade starts. Roads are closed and traffic is diverted so that traffic is heavy and parking is sparse. Most likely, expect to drop-off family and friends near the parade and then park further away from the festivities.
Porta-potties are located at various street corners (see map) and there are bathrooms at the La Jolla Recreation Center.
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