San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist
The Spirit of San Pedro Holiday Parade logo (photo: San Pedro Chamber of Commerce)
Mark it on your calendar – the 34th Annual Holiday Spirit of San Pedro Parade is this weekend.
The festivities begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 7, with a parade of more than 70 units and floats starting at Pacific Avenue and 13th Street. Thousands are expected to attend what has become one of the most beloved traditions of our waterfront district.
Traveling northbound on Pacific to 6th Street where it will turn eastward ending at Palos Verdes Street, the parade will feature several schools, sports teams, drill teams, bands, community clubs, non-profit organizations, and elected officials. Of course, let’s not forget the most important participant of all – Santa will arrive in a red trolley accompanied by POLAH Bear from Port of Los Angeles High School and the POLAH Cheerleader “Elves.”
“We are so excited to bring back the equestrian units this year and Councilman Buscaino will be on the Wells Fargo stagecoach. It’s going to be a very large, full parade this year,” said Elise Swanson, president/CEO of the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce.
For the first time, this year’s holiday parade will feature a friendly competition among downtown businesses that will showcase original holiday-themed displays in their windows starting November 29 thru December 7. Visitors may vote for their favorite displays by 5 p.m. December 7 via the Chamber’s Facebook page or by email.
“We wanted to find a way to closely connect the business owners to the visitors and potential customers along the parade route, so we thought it would be fun to combine the parade and the retail promotion,” said Swanson.
Some businesses plan on participating in the window display contest, as they have every year, more for the spirit of the holidays rather than for the sake of friendly competition.
“We do this (holiday décor for the windows) anyway every year, and we plan to do so again this year in the theme of The Nutcracker,” quipped Dave Lynch, general manager at Sacred Grounds Coffee Shop. “Since we do the concessions for the theatre here in the same building, we will decorate our windows together.”
Since this year’s festivities fall on December 7, the holiday parade committee is also in talks with Pearl Harbor veterans to be honorary grand marshals in the parade. “The USS Iowa will have its ceremony that morning and then the veterans are invited to ride in cars along the grand marshal float,” explained Swanson.
So mark your calendars, this parade is one San Pedro tradition that can’t be missed.