Fun at the Santa Run last year in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Yuletide is washing over Pacific Beach like a wave as the beach community ushers in the holidays with the annual Christmas on Crystal Pier event Saturday, Dec. 3.
Join in on one-of-a-kind festivities featuring a sunset tree lighting and photos with Santa, plus decorative wreath hanging from local businesses and community groups.
“Christmas on Crystal Pier is one more opportunity to 'keep the cheer here' and create a community-centered holiday tradition,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB, which hosts the holiday celebration. “Pictures with Santa on the pier is a unique 'PB' experience.”
Berns reminded residents not to forget about the community's other events, like the PB Holiday Parade and San Diego Santa Run, both on Saturday, Dec. 10.
The daylong celebration begins at 10 a.m. with the San Diego Santa Run 5k. The fun run is immediately followed by the PB Holiday Parade at 1 p.m., which showcases community floats, local school bands and Santa wrapping up the celebration.
This year's parade theme is “From Sea to Shining Sea,” honoring the different ways cultures and communities celebrate the holidays around the country and world.
“Plan to spend the day participating in the events – or just spectating – but everyone should be out to knock off some of that holiday shopping at our local neighborhood businesses,” said Berns, who stressed the importance of shopping local.
“The idea is to get people out of the house, off the online stores and out into the neighborhood shopping, dining and spending the day in the district,” said Berns. “When shopping for gifts this year, we hope people will consider the businesses that have contributed to these community events, like the Catamaran Resort and Spa who, without their generous donation, the parade would not be happening this year.”
Berns also cited PB Cantina, The Mad Beat and Cerveza Jack's for “contributing significantly to the costs of the lights on the pier, and logistics to put on the parade.”
Commenting on PB's Shop Local Campaign, Berns noted supporting local retail businesses “is the nervous system of creating community and a strong business district.” She suggested next time residents are out running errands they should check out the restaurant next door that has a sidewalk café, or the dress shop across the street. Nine times out of 10 the actual business owner is the one who rings you up in that shop.
“That restaurant employs 20 local students and helps pay for their college,” she said. “The manager at the auto repair shop has kids at Pacific Beach Middle. These businesses alone are never as successful as they are together, and that one hour of small decisions in your spending habits has a huge impact on the neighborhood.”
Discover PB met with local retailers this summer to brainstorm ideas on retail marketing. Berns noted “business owners themselves have been instrumental in creating our shop local efforts. We are highlighting gift and shopping ideas on our social media (@DiscoverPB) and have distributed thousands of local discount cards throughout PB via our bars and restaurants, retailers and mail.”
When gift shopping this year, take a day to get out and explore PB, and you will be surprised how many people you can check off your list while supporting your neighborhood businesses.”
Christmas on Crystal Pier
When: Saturday, Dec. 3, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Where: Crystal Pier.
What: Take your pictures with Santa on the end of Crystal Pier. Tree lighting at sunset and decorated wreaths hung along the pier.
Cost: $10 or $5 with a donation of school supplies to help local schools.
When: 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.
Where: Starts at Garnet Avenue and Haines Street, ends at Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street.
When: Saturday, Dec. 10.
Times: 10 a.m. 5K Santa Run, 11:30 a.m. Santa’s Little Helper Wave 1 Mile (dog/owner), noon Santa’s Elves Wave 1 Mile (Kids), 12:30 p.m. Speedy Santa Wave 1 Mile (competitive), 12:50 p.m. awards for competitive 1 mile only.
Where: Start/finish: Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street.
Info: www.sandiegosantarun.com to register.
Window Decorating Contest
What: A judged window-dressing contest to mark the holidays and encourage shoppers to visit businesses and walk streets.
Theme: Participants are encouraged to play around with this year's parade theme, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” with their store decorations, designs and ambiance.
Contest participants: Winner will be featured in the Beach & Bay Press.