Encinitas sure throws a great Holiday Parade! Join us Saturday!

December 2, 2021

It feels good to be cautiously easing back into outdoor events, and I’m especially happy that my family and I will be participating in the 64th Encinitas Holiday Parade this Saturday evening! My mom has happy memories of being in the parade as a Brownie, recalling that the parade ran during the daylight hours in the 1950s. 

In true holiday tradition, the celebration is free and everyone’s invited.

The Encinitas Holiday Parade has been a longtime tradition for hundreds of local families, including ours. I’ll be riding near the very front of the parade with my entire family – husband, kids, mom, dad and aunt. Here’s a memorable shot of us from the 2016 parade. (Photo by Raymond Elstad.)

Encinitas rocks the holiday season

The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, December 4 along Coast Highway 101.  Entries will travel south on 101 from D Street down to J Street. At 5:00 p.m. before the parade, there’ll be a tree-lighting ceremony at the Lumberyard Shops courtyard, between H and I Street. Rumor has it that Santa might make an appearance there.

This year’s theme is “Encinitas Rocks!” – an indisputable truth, if you ask me. Many parade entries will highlight great music across different genres and generations. 

Participants will be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while spectators cheer them along the Coast Highway 101 parade route. The nearly 100 entrants hope to win a prize in one of the judged categories for lights, creativity, performance, music, spirit and overall impression. 

Besides Santa, other local luminaries are planning to join us, including Encinitas City Councilmembers, Grand Marshal Earl Flores, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, and our U.S Representative Mike Levin.

Ride the free shuttle!

Downtown parking will be scarce, but there’s also a free Holiday Parade Shuttlethat will take spectators to and from the parade from two locations: Ecke Sports Park/YMCA and the San Dieguito Academy parking lot at the corner of Melba and Nardo roads.

Both shuttles start running at 4:00 p.m. with final pick-ups from the parade stop leaving at 8:30 p.m. They’ll run every 20 minutes or so and drop off at the NCTD transit station on Vulcan Avenue, a half-block from the parade route. ADA accessible buses run from the San Dieguito Academy location.

Wearing a mask on the shuttles is required by state law. The City of Encinitas asks that parade participants and spectators wear face coverings to protect the public’s health when the vaccination status of others is unknown. 

Whether you observe Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or simply enjoy this wonderful season, I really hope you and your family can be with us for this joyous continuation of our time-honored celebration. See you there!In eager anticipation,

P.S. More holiday events you can enjoy…

Encinitas Chanukah Block Party from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. this Sunday, December 5 – Light up the night on the 8th night of Hanukkah. Join our community, neighbors, and family for a fun-filled evening on the cul-de-sac with a Dreidel Tournament, bounce house, latkes, doughnuts, crafts – including beeswax candle rolling, and more. Fun for everyone.

Where: Chabad of Encinitas, 735 Adelaide Circle Encinitas, CA 92024

Encinitas Heritage Tree Lighting – if you can’t make Saturday’s parade and tree-lighting, there’s another tree-lighting at 6:00 p.m. tomorrow. December 3.

For the 27th consecutive year, The Encinitas Historical Society will light our city’s Encinitas Heritage Tree at Moonlight Beach. It’s a 90-foot tall Norfolk Island Pine planted in 1952 by the Danforth brothers at the corner of 4th and C streets. Local musicians will also be there, performing Christmas carols.