Christmas parade owes much to donors, volunteers
by Dave Schwab
Published - 11/22/13 - 04:54 PM | 4264 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Don Balch
Photo by Don Balch
The 56th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival on Sunday, Dec. 8 promises to be spectacular with more than 100 entries, including beauty queens, equestrians, vintage vehicles, judged floats and the most bands ever, as well as several thousand youngsters marching in groups, with everything from Girl and Boy Scouts to school marching bands and color guards.

“We’ve got 60-plus equestrians, fire engines, a bus from Birch Aquarium and Omar the camel is back,” said Ann Kerr Bache, parade organizer for the 16th year.

The Holiday Festival immediately following the 2 p.m. parade is another don’t-miss event activity and a good way to get acquainted with the community and all it has to offer.

“The festival will have great entertainment — arts and crafts, music, watercolor painting, surf lessons and a kids’ zone with face painting, jumpees and Santa Claus riding in on the black sleigh courtesy of Sunrise Rotary Club, who will be taking pictures with kids,” Kerr Bache said. “We’ll have an education area where people can learn about the organizations in the community.”

The Holiday Festival will be held at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.

Fundraising co-chairs for the 2013 event are local business leaders Peter Farrell, Bill Kellogg and Jack McGrory, assisted by Debbie Dorsee of the Dorsee Company.

Kerr Bache credited her fundraising crew of Farrell, Kellogg and McGrory with “doing a dynamite job of raising money and keeping the tradition alive, for which we as a community should be incredibly grateful.”

The parade sponsor once again this year is Audrey S. Geisel and major sponsors include La Jolla Management Company, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Steven E. Kowalski, The Albergram, La Jolla Country Market, Sycamore Court, Village Corner, The Wall Street Building and county Supervisor Ron Roberts.

Appropriately enough, the theme for this year’s winter classic event is “Christmas in the Surf and Sand.”

The holiday event is unique in that it is organized and run by a small committee of community volunteers and is fully funded through community sponsorships and donations with more than 70 percent of the donations coming from individuals.

The festive day ends with the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 4:30 p.m.

“We sing ‘Silent Night’ gathered around the tree, which is decorated courtesy of GDC Construction,” said Kerr Bache.

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A star-studded lineup of parade grand marshals includes:

Grand Marshal: WindanSea Surf Club celebrating its 50th anniversary

Traditional Marshal: Claudia and Willis Allen, Jr., co-owners of Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages

Innovation Marshal: Tyler Orion, interim president of CONNECT, a non profit accelerator of emerging technology and life science companies in San Diego

Philanthropic Marshal: Sherry Ahern, creator/promoter of La Jolla Open Aire Market and the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival, recognized for her community service work

Military Marshal: Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Association honoring the organization for its community work with and for veterans

Youth Marshals: Rachelle Roberson, 1st grade, All Hallows Academy, Rose Conlin, 7th grade, Stella Maris Academy and Mahine Guilpain and Andrew Petruzell, 8th grade, San Diego French American School


Entertainment Stage — Ron Jones, emcee

2:30 p.m.: La Jolla High School Jazz Band, Mike Fiedler, director

3:15 p.m.: The Kukui Nuts Hawaiian Music

3:50 p.m.: Ukelele Bruddahs

Arts & Education Area ~

ART Interactive with Alice Wang (watercolor and pencil)

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Coco Tihanyi & her Surf Divas (surfing and water-safety instructions)

Gym Ventures and Kid Ventures (interactive crafts and skills)

The Magic of Jazz with Mary Talbot, Southern California Jazz Society

Education Arcade ~

Canine Companions

Mt Soledad Memorial Association

San Diego Police Museum

San Diego Zoo

USS Midway Museum

2:30 to 4:30 p.m. ~ Kids’ Zone, air jump, air obstacle course, face painting

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ~ Photos with Santa post parade

4:30 p.m. ~ “Silent Night” & lighting of the La Jolla Christmas Tree (arranged by Sunrise Rotary)

All Holiday Festival events take place at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.
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