The festivities begin at 2 p.m. with the customary antique-aircraft flyover marking the launch of the parade, which will feature marching bands, fire trucks, equestrians, canine units and creatively decorated floats by local organizations and businesses. Bill and Claudia Evans will also display a show of antique tractors this year in the parade, which will ride alongside more floats and equestrians than have ever been seen before on the parade route west down Girard Avenue and south down Prospect Street.
This year’s theme, “Christmas in the Village,” revisits Christmas parades past by paying homage to the history of local merchants in La Jolla.
La Jolla Christmas Parade chairwoman Ann Kerr Bache’s inspiration for the theme stemmed from a 1984 Christmas parade photo from the La Jolla Historical Society’s archives, featuring the venerable Cameron Highlanders Pipe Band and a banner showcasing its community merchant sponsor, the La Jolla Music Store.
“As is the tradition, funds are raised for the parade from sponsorships by local businesses and individuals. I saw that the banner that was in the photo was for the La Jolla Music Store sponsoring a longtime and wonderful participant, the Cameron Highlanders Band,” she said. “I had noticed the sign displayed at the music store that it was going out of business in July — a sad event — and I thought it would be great to honor them for their years of support.”
Although La Jolla Music Store skirted outright closure thanks to the efforts of dedicated resident and La Jolla Town Council trustee David Woo, who purchased the community’s 50-year-old shop, the prospect of losing a local treasure prompted the idea for a theme dedicated to La Jolla’s merchants, both old and new.
To build on old traditions, new educational activities at the Holiday Festival, which takes place at the La Jolla Recreation Center, will add a fresh new twist to kid-friendly entertainment this year.
“For the first time, we will have educational activities that will include lessons on surfing, painting, an exercise station, and wonderful music and singing, in addition to our usual activities of Santa photos, games and the tree-lighting ceremony,” said Kerr Bache.
Cultural education opportunities will also include arts and crafts stations, equestrian docents teaching kids about different horse breeds and a Wells Fargo stagecoach, complete with information about the history and role of stagecoaches in Western development.
This year’s Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival will feature time-honored traditions alongside multi-generational activities, culminating in a dynamic community event as vibrant as La Jolla itself. For more information about the event, visit www.ljparade.com or call Pat Wells at (858) 922-4046.