California Christmas Parades

Santa Barbara Christmas Parade

December 6, 2019, 6:30 p.m. discontinued in 2021

A Tropical Holiday is 2019 theme

Parade route: Parade begins at 6:30 p.m. at State Street and Sola Street and concludes at Cota Street.

Meet & Greet with Santa Claus at Paseo Nuevo Center Court, 4-5:30 p.m.

More than 50,000 spectators line downtown Santa Barbara to see California's finest Central Coast display of holiday patriotism and pride. with marching bands, fabulous holiday floats, spectacular performance groups, local personalities, and Santa Claus atop a festive sleigh.

The annual parade begins with the Holiday Prince & Fairy lighting the Christmas Tree at the official Tree Lighting Ceremony. The Holiday Prince & Fairy then climb aboard a horse drawn carriage with the Grand Marshal to appear in the parade. The Holiday Prince & Fairy are chosen for their creativity and originality in an art contest co-sponsored by the Downtown Organization and The Santa Barbara Independent.

Santa Barbara's Downtown Holiday Parade first was launched as part of a downtown State Street holiday celebration of decorations that included 40 foot tall Douglas fir Christmas trees lining the boulevard during the holidays. These trees actually lined the center divider lines of what used to be a four lane street.

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.

In 1998 the parade was changed to be held at night, in contrast to its previous 30+ years as a daytime event. When the parade switched to an after dark event, it became the city's only parade held at night. It is a festive, cherished tradition to see the event, a magical display of lights. Definitely, they should stick with nights to host this parade!

Milpas Holiday Parade

December 10, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
(805) 689-5170

Milpas Holiday Parade begins at Canon Perdido, and heads down Milpas to Mason St. It features live performances, kids groups, and classic cars. Parade entries light up, turn up the volume, and put on a terrific show! Entrants may distribute candy and small gifts to attendees, but not throwing of anything into the crowd! Many of our merchants put out hot chocolate and cookies for parade attendees. Join this very warm, community-based, fun event for all.

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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Near Santa Barbara