The 57th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival, which draws thousands to the Village to glimpse bands, floats, equestrians, marching units, VIP vehicles, fire engines and a police antique paddy wagon and lifeguard boat, will kick off Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1:30 p.m. at Girard Avenue and Kline Street.
This year’s parade theme is “Christmas Spirit – Peace on Earth.”
The holiday festival, on the grounds of La Jolla Rec Center, at 615 Prospect St., follows the parade at 2:30 p.m. The festival includes stage entertainment, games, interactive learning activities and science and education exhibits. It ends with the lighting of the Christmas tree in front of the Rec Center at 5 p.m., on the eve of the rec center’s 100-year anniversary.
The day’s activities begin with a flyover of vintage aircraft, courtesy of Bill Allen.
The events are organized by the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival Foundation and run by a dedicated group of volunteers. Foundation president Ann Kerr Bache is the event organizer.
“We are grateful to Jack McGrory and Bill Kellogg, honorary parade chairs, for their support and assistance making the parade possible,” Kerr Bache said in a release, adding, “Cindy Greatrex is festival chair, and Mike Carlin is our very able parade director, making sure once again that we have a well-run and safe parade.”
Kerr Bache noted that the parade and festival is supported solely by community donations, with no public monies provided. She thanked John Barbey, the parade’s Gold Sponsor, “whose support early in the year made it possible to plan this year’s parade.
“But we still need your support to keep the tradition alive,” said Kerr Bache, encouraging local residents to “join your friends and neighbors and donate today at ljparade.com.”
Major parade sponsors include Audrey Geisel, Dr. Seuss Fund; Darlene Marcos Shiley; McGrory Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation; and LMC Management.
“Please shop and support our local merchant sponsors — Adelaides, Warwicks, Bowers and others — who continue to support this village tradition,” Kerr Bache said.
Donations in any amount can be made via ljparade.com using a credit card or PayPal accounts. A donation form can be found on the website, printed and mailed with a check or credit card information to La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival, 1150 Silverado Ave., #212, La Jolla, CA. The foundation is a nonprofit, and all donations are fully tax deductible.
Sponsorship benefits and opportunities are described on the event website along with a list of current sponsors and donors.
Las Patronas has been selected as grand marshal of the 2014 Christmas Parade. They will serve as honorary marshals along with civic marshal Phyllis Minick, LJPB Beautification Committee; innovation marshal Greg McKee, CEO, CONNECT; and sports marshal Doug Fitzgerald, board chair of La Jolla Recreation Council. Military marshal is Steve Kappes, captain, Military Outreach Team, joined by the Wounded Warriors Tennis Camp.
Concours d'Elegance is providing Classic Cars to carry the marshals down the parade route. Allen is providing a vintage truck painted a bright Christmas red.
The Christmas tree has been specially pruned and will be decorated once again courtesy of La Jolla Sunrise Rotary. Pancho Dewhurst, GDC Construction, provides the crew and equipment to decorate the tree, continuing a Dewhurst family tradition.
The rec center advisory board granted monies to the foundation and to the Rotary Club so that worn tree ornaments could be replaced. Laura McDonald, of Eloquence Designs, has designed special ornaments for the tree, which will be decorated Dec. 3.
Volunteer opportunities are available for those who would like to learn how to run the parade and join in the fun on parade day. As always, No Parking zones have been established and are shown on the parking map on the website. This year, the first towing time is 9:30 a.m.
– Staff and contribution