Get in the holiday spirit during Pacific Beach’s tree lighting, parade

A classic car was driven in a previous Pacific Beach Holiday Parade.

In addition to the San Diego Santa Run, two other holiday traditions are returning to Pacific Beach early this month to get everyone in the celebratory spirit.

Christmas tree lighting

A festive holiday atmosphere will again be created on Crystal Pier when the Pacific Beach landmark is decked out with wreaths and a Christmas tree.

A tree-lighting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 on the pier at 4500 Ocean Blvd.

The free, family-friendly event is sponsored by Discover Pacific Beach and coordinated through the Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages, said Sunny Lee, Discover PB’s executive director.

“Every year community groups and businesses sponsor wreathes that are decorated by the businesses and organizations personally,” Lee said. “The ornaments represent the (wreath sponsors).”

As for the tree, it will be donated by Christmas Tree Country, a PB business.

The Christmas tree will remain lit and wreaths on display through the holiday season, Lee said.

Unlike in years past, there will be no photo opportunities with Santa at the event due to the pandemic, she added.

Pacific Beach Holiday Parade

Another community tradition is returning on Saturday, Dec. 11 when the 40th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade starts rolling down Garnet Avenue at noon.

A high school color guard performing at a previous Pacific Beach Holiday Parade.

The parade begins at Garnet’s intersection with Haines Street and concludes at Bayard Street. Those who want to hear the parade announcer, PB resident Karl Jaedtke, describe each of the entries will want to be near the intersection of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue.

The event is billed as “one of San Diego’s oldest holiday parades” on the Discover Pacific Beach website. Discover PB is organizing the parade that was put on hiatus last year due to the pandemic.

The Pacific Beach Holiday Parade is being held just after the ninth annual San Diego Santa Run concludes. Parade spectators are being advised to utilize street parking or paid lots near the parade route, Lee said.

“(Spectators) will start lining up at 10:30 a.m.,” she said, if they are not already on-site due to the Santa Run.

As of mid-November, a variety of entries had registered for the parade. Many youth groups will be participating, including those from Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, Mission Bay High School, Scouts BSA Troop 246 and Girl Scout Troop 4814.

The Coronado Speed Spinners competition and performance jump rope team has registered, along with the Hole in the Wall Gang, known for its members’ appearances as Old West outlaw legends. Also planning to attend are members of the E. Clampus Vitus, John P. Squibob Chapter of San Diego.

Several community organizations will be in the parade as well. These include the Pacific Beach Woman’s Club, Pacific Beach Town Council, Pacific Beach Rotaract and Fiesta Island Dog Owners (FIDO).

Others scheduled for a parade appearance are the Big Josh Foundation, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister, San Diego Mission Bay Boat & Ski Club, Mossy Toyota, Mossy Ford, Pacific Beach Surf Club, Mavericks Beach Club, Hearts to Hands Food Drive, Pete Knows Real Estate-Middleton Team, Tavern at the Beach and Campland on the Bay.

The crew at Fire Station No. 21 helped Santa Claus make an appearance in a previous Pacific Beach Holiday Parade.