The parade and holiday festival, which draws more than 25,000 people a year, will kick off Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.
The theme this year is “Christmas in the Surf and Sand.” In honor of their 50 years, the WindanSea Surf Club has been named Grand Marshal.
“Multiple generations of the same families have shared the tradition of the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival over the years and we are excited to give them another amazing event,” said Ann Kerr Bache, event chairwoman. “It truly captures the community and holiday spirit, as well as La Jolla’s magic. There is a reason we call it the ‘Crown Jewel.’”
The 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 being from individuals.
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.
“There is strong support among the community for this longtime tradition,” said McGrory, a veteran real estate and development executive and community leader. “Thousands of kids and adults alike look forward to the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival every year. It would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and donors.”
To date, the major Parade Sponsors are Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, La Jolla Management Co. and the San Diego Board of Supervisors funded by Supervisor Ron Roberts. Other sponsors include a mix of residents, businesses, community foundations and private donors. A complete list of donors and sponsors can be found at www.ljparade.com.
The Foundation is shy of its fundraising goal for the 2013 parade and holiday festival. The deadline for donations and sponsorships to be recognized in the Parade Program is Nov. 15. To donate, visit www.ljparade.com/#!donate/c8k2.
This year’s parade is shaping up to be the best ever with more than 100 entries, including beauty queens in vintage vehicles, a dozen bands, 60 equestrians and several thousand kids marching in various groups (Girl Scouts, Brownies, gymnastics, Boy and Cub Scouts, school marching bands and color guards). Floats are judged and trophies are given for various categories. Registration for the parade, which is open to all at no cost, is complete and this year’s lineup will be posted on the website the week before the parade.
The Holiday Festival, which will be held at the La Jolla Recreation Center, includes arts and crafts, live music and education exhibits and the Birch Aquarium bus. Santa is the last entry in the parade and joins the festival for visits and photos with the kids. The day ends with the lighting of the Christmas Tree at 4:30 p.m.
For a complete schedule and more information on the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, visit www.ljparade.com.