Holidays in Pacific Beach start with Christmas on Crystal Pier, Holiday Parade and Santa Run
Published - 11/27/18 - 08:00 AM | 20637 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The sun sets on the Christmas tree at the end of Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The sun sets on the Christmas tree at the end of Crystal Pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The holidays hit the ground running early in Pacific Beach kicking off with Christmas on Crystal Pier Dec. 1, followed by two other events, the San Diego Santa Run and the Holiday Parade, both on Dec.15.

“The holiday events create a sense of community, lively action in our streets and storefronts and build community pride,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, which is hosting the Christmas 2018 celebration.

“Not only does it help create the festive feel of the holidays when the weather here says different, but it is a day to get the entire community connected to our businesses, neighbors, schools and organizations,” Berns said. “Who knows, standing out waiting for the floats to go by or running past in the 5K, you may notice a business you never noticed before from your car.”

Held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 1, Christmas on Crystal Pier highlights feature a sunset tree lighting and photos with Santa. 

The pier is also festooned each year with wreaths hung by local businesses and community groups. Wreaths being sold by Discover PB will adorn Crystal Pier through Jan. 1. Wreaths are high visibility given the thousands of visitors who check out the pier each month. 

Santa photos will cast $10 or $5 if a donation is made for school supplies benefitting PB schools. Needed school supplies include: Hand sanitizer (big family size bottles), sanitizing wipes, Kleenex boxes, color copy paper 8 by 11 ½ (any color), and white copy paper 8 by 11 1/2, staplers and staples, adult scissors, Post its, white cardstock paper, spiral notebooks, glue sticks and colored pencils and markers.

Pictures are first-come, first-served. There is no guarantee your picture will be taken if you arrive after 3:45 p.m.

The Holiday Parade starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 is the centerpiece of the beach community’s annual holiday fest. 

This year’s parade theme is “Jingle Bell Rock,” so rock out to your favorite holiday tunes. Replete with community floats, local school bands and Santa wrapping things up, join everyone on Garnet Avenue for a fabulous friends and family event to rejoice in the holidays.

Easily PB’s most colorful holiday event, nothing compares with 5,000 red-clad St. Nicks converging in the annual Santa Run preceding the parade on Dec. 15. The run is actually three races, with the 5K Santa Run starting at 10 a.m. There is also a competitive Speedy Santa Mile Race and a Santa’s Little Helper Mile (Dog Run) race for kids age 12 and under. Parents are welcome to join their children.

All 5K adult participants receive a Santa suit, hat, short- sleeve jacket, shorts, belt and beard as well as one drink ticket and a pair of San Diego Santa Run sunglasses.

Adults in the one-mile races will also receive a Santa hat, sunglasses and complimentary drink ticket.

Plan to spend the day participating in the events, just spectating, or knock off some of that holiday shopping at local neighborhood businesses.

There is also a PB window decorating contest to the theme of Jingle Bell Rock highlighting everyone’s favorite holiday numbers. The winning window will be featured in the Beach & Bay Press.

For more information visit, drop in at Discover PB’s office at 1503 Garnet Ave., or email

San Diego Santa Run

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.

10 a.m. 5K Santa Run

11:30 a.m. Santa’s Little Helper Wave 1 Mile (dog/owner)

12 p.m. Santa’s Elves Wave 1 Mile (Kids)

12:30 p.m. Speedy Santa Wave 1 Mile (Competitive)

12:50 p.m. Awards (competitive 1 Mile wave only)

Where: Start: Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street.


Holiday Parade

When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15.

Where: Start: Garnet Avenue and Haines Street. End: Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street.

Christmas on Crystal Pier

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

Where: Crystal Pier.

What: Take your pictures with Santa on Crystal Pier. Tree lighting at sunset and decorated wreaths hung along the pier.

Cost: $10 or $5 with a donation of school supplies.

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