December 1, 2019, 6-9 p.m.
(always the 1st Sunday after Thanksgiving Day)
The event begins on Main Street from Salinas High School to Steinbeck
salinaslightsparade.com (site not maintained as of posting, try this: facebook.com/salinasparadeoflights/ )
The Holiday Parade of Lights is a Salinas family tradition. Each year, families begin arriving hours before the parade begins, bringing their chairs and blankets and picking just the right spot. Salinas' families, from toddler to grandparent, line up along Main Street and truly represent the diverse cultures of our community. Santa and Mrs. Clause, giant helium balloons, festive floats, local dance groups and costume characters have become favorites of the young…and young annual parade.
While attendance numbers range from 10,000 to triple that amount, there's one thing for certain. The Salinas Holiday Parade can't be beat for capturing the hearts and minds of attendees who can enjoy the charming Old Town with its historic buildings and shops. It's the perfect location for the Salinas Holiday Parade of Lights, an evening event that lights up life for all who share in the Christmas spirit.
See marching bands, holiday floats representing clubs and organizations, drill teams, color guards, dancers, antique cars, equestrians, walking groups, etc. with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus on a red fire truck as a finale. The Holiday Parade of Lights begins at Acacia and South Main Streets, advancing north on South Main Street and ending at The National Steinbeck Center. Attendance has been consistent with 35,000 people coming to Oldtown to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.
Free Pre-Parade Activities Kid's 12 and younger can showcase their artistic talents by participating in the Holiday Parade of Lights Coloring Contest. The Kid's Zone opens at 4PM on parade day and over the years has offered a variety of activities. In past years the Kid's Zone has been at the John Steinbeck Library and Maya Cinemas. Kids are entertained with story telling, face painting, costume character visits, and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus.
How it all Happens The Holiday Parade of Lights is organized by a committee of dedicated individuals, all sharing a commitment to produce a quality parade. Each year over 140 volunteers are recruited for parade day to help with entry check in, handle our giant helium balloons, act as information runners, and keep the parade moving as parade marshals. It's the volunteers who make it happen. The Salinas business community underwrites the parade through their generous sponsorship donations. Donations cover all city related permit and department fees, equipment rentals, necessary safety support, parade promotional materials and all other related costs.
Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.