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For the 61st year, Encinitas will kick off the holiday season at the 2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade- presented by California Coast Credit Union on Saturday, December 1.  Thousands of people will be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while tens of thousands cheer them along the Parade route along Coast Highway 101.  Many of our nearly 100 parade entries aim to win a prize in one of the Parade’s judged categories for lights, creativity, performance, music, spirit and overall impression. 

Parade spectators will be able claim a good spot to watch the parade as soon as Coast Highway closes at 4 pm.  Followed by a countdown and ceremonial tree lighting, Santa himself will make a brief appearance to kick things off at 5 pm at the Lumberyard shops courtyard (near Starbucks).  

The 2018 parade theme is “Botanical Oasis”.  Encinitas has a deep history of flower growing, a terrific climate for growing a wide variety of beautiful and interesting plants and even boasts a world class botanic garden.  This year’s Parade theme ties in perfectly with the Holiday Parade Committee’s selection of Julian Duval as the 2018 Parade Grand Marshal, retiring in January after 24 years of leadership as President and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Gardens).  For the 2018 Parade, we invite our entries to go all out with creativity, showcasing amazing and beautiful floats, performance art and music.  Parade category awards are up for grabs so start planning something awesome now!

Parking Shuttles – Don’t stress over finding a parking space downtown, take advantage of our FREE parking shuttles that run from San Dieguito Academy High School (parking lot located on the corner of Melba Road and Nardo Road) or from the YMCA/Ecke Sports Park parking lot on Saxony Road. Both shuttles start running at 4pm and go until 8:30pm. The ADA accessible bus runs from the San Dieguito Academy location. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes and will drop you off at the NCTD bus station on Vulcan Avenue, just a half block from the Parade route. 

Find Parade information at http://www.EncinitasParksandRec.com or call call the City of Encinitas Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department at (760) 633-2740.

Special thanks to the Encinitas Holiday Parade Presenting Sponsor, California Coast Credit Union and additional Sponsors; Lazy Acres Natural Market Encinitas, Le Port Montessori Solana Beach, School of Rock Encinitas, AMR Ambulance and EDCO.

Interested in having an entry in the Parade?  Download the 2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade Entry Application Form, which includes information about participating in the Parade.