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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 8:44 am | Fair 54º


Downtown Celebrates Colors of Season With Holiday Parade

Actor Noah Wyle will be grand marshal

Santa welcomes season at a Holiday Parade. Click to view larger
Santa welcomes season at a Holiday Parade. (Fritz Olenberger)

Downtown Santa Barbara has officially kicked off the holiday season with the announcement that TV star Noah Wyle, a Santa Barbara County resident, will be the grand marshal of the 65th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade.

Presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc. the parade steps off at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 1, lighting up State Street, and bringing holiday spirit to more than 65,000 spectators.

The parade, which follows down State Street from Sola Street to Cota Street, will feature giant balloons, marching bands, community floats, performance groups, the Holiday Prince and Fairy, and of course — Santa Claus.

The Holiday Prince and Fairy will lead the march and light the Community Christmas Tree, signaling the start of the parade. The public can join Santa before the parade, 4-5:30 p.m., as he greets families in Paseo Nuevo Center Court for photos.

This year’s parade theme, Colors of the Season, is designed to highlight the creativity in the community, as all participating groups vie for trophies and applause.

“We are honored to welcome Noah Wyle to celebrate one of Santa Barbara’s oldest holiday traditions,” said Maggie Campbell, executive director of Downtown Santa Barbara.

Wyle, a long-time Santa Barbara County resident, is an Emmy and Golden Globe nominee best known for his award-winning roles as Dr. John Carter in ER and Tom Mason in Falling Skies.

Wyle currently is executive producer of and stars in TNT's The Librarians, which premieres its fourth season on Dec. 13.

“This is a hometown event, and a local favorite, as family and friends gather to celebrate the holiday season,” Campbell said.

Consumer Fire Products, Inc. returns as the Presenting Sponsor of the parade, with Downtown Santa Barbara again producing the 90-plus entry, nighttime parade.

"We at Consumer Fire Products are thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, and honored to continue our tradition of donating the Community Christmas Tree to light up the holiday season for the fourth year in a row," said Irene Rhodes, owner/CEO of Consumer Fire Products, Inc.

"It's an exciting time of year, and we're grateful for the chance to support the community in such a joyous event," Rhodes said.

The theme, Colors of the Season, recognizes the season's many traditions, holidays and hues. Floats will be inspired by vibrant tones, kaleidoscopes, rainbows, and anything festively neon and vivid.

In keeping with traditions of the past, Santa will reign over the celebration, making his appearance at the end of the parade in a huge float for a grand finale. This custom-built float, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, is sponsored by Marborg Industries.

For more information about volunteering for the Holiday Parade, or participation in the Prince & Fairy contest, contact Jenna Raimist, marketing and events coordinator, at [email protected].

— Jacqueline McGuan for Downtown Santa Barbara.


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