Downtown Holiday Parade

Friday, December 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM

2014 Theme: Winter Nights & Holiday Lights

Grand Marshal: TBD

More than 50,000 spectators are expected to line downtown Santa Barbara on Friday evening December 5th, to cheer on a colossal contingent of high-stepping marching bands, fabulous holiday floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and of course, the most anticipated appearance of the evening...the annual arrival of Santa Claus, dispensing holiday cheer from atop his festive sleigh.

Meet and Greet: Friday, December 5th: Santa Claus - Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 4:00pm-5:30pm

The parade begins at 6:30pm at State Street and Sola Street and concludes at Cota Street. For more information, call 805-962-2098 ext. 804.

Click here for the Parade entry application.

Parade History
In the early 1950’s, a tradition began to decorate State Street with 40 foot tall Douglas fir Christmas trees during the holidays. These trees actually lined the center divider lines of what used to be a four lane street. Sponsored then by the Retail Merchants Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Parks and Recreation Department, the trees were officially dedicated and lit during the Children’s Christmas Parade by the Christmas Fairy. The Children’s Christmas Parade is now known as the Downtown Holiday Parade and is held annually, one week after Thanksgiving.

The parade, now in its 62nd year, has since evolved into Santa Barbara’s only nighttime street parade. After 31 years of Saturday morning debuts, the parade returned to the Friday evening tradition in 1998. This year’s tradition takes place on Friday, December 5th officially welcoming the holiday season downtown!

Holiday Prince & Fairy Contest
Deadline: November 12, 2014

HEY KIDS! Enter the 2014 Prince & Fairy Art Contest! As the Holiday Prince or Fairy, you’ll ride in the December 5th Downtown Holiday Parade at 6:30pm.

The tradition of the Christmas Fairy, now the Holiday Prince & Fairy, began with the first parade in 1953.

The Holiday Prince & Fairy are chosen for their creativity and originality in an art contest sponsored by the Downtown Organization.

To enter, please follow these guidelines:
• Open to children ages 6-10; one entry per child.
• On a separate piece of paper, no larger than 11" x 17" draw, color or paint a picture that represents the parade theme "Holidays in Paradise."
• Entries MUST include child’s name and age, and parent or guardian’s name, address, and daytime and evening phone numbers.
• Entries must be received by 4 pm on Wednesday, November 12th.
• Children selected must be available to participate in the parade on Friday, December 5th.

Click here to download an entry form.

Entries may be mailed to:

Downtown Organization
Attn: Prince and Fairy
Post Office Box 240
Santa Barbara, CA 93102

or dropped off Monday through Friday, 8am-4pm, at:

Downtown Santa Barbara Offices
27-B East de la Guerra
(between State Street and Anacapa Street across from City Hall)

Click here to view images from past Downtown Holiday Parades.