Saturday, April 21 , 2018, 10:40 pm | Fair 55º


Local News

State Street Lights Up for 65th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade

Actor Noah Wyle served as grand marshal for procession; this year’s theme was 'Colors of the Season'


On Friday night, residents and visitors were stretched down State Street from Sola Street, awaiting the beginning of the 65th annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade.

Equipped with hot chocolate and popcorn, Santa Barbara residents Gabriel and Kelly Avina — both wearing red Santa Claus hats — had a prime viewing spot across from the Arlington Theatre and in front of the 42-foot white fir. 

“We love Christmas,” Kelly said. “We’ve seen the parade about a dozen times. We know people in the parade, and we have friends coming — it’s a fun time.”

At midday Friday, the area was filled with blankets and chairs, holding places for parade-watchers.

“Usually, we are sitting down the street, but this is the first time we sat here,” Gabriel said. “For us, it’s a tradition.”

Spectators enjoyed a packed line-up of nearly 90 entrees, including huge floats, a gigantic snowflake balloon, school marching bands, community groups, fire trucks, performers wowing the audience with their effortless routines, and more.

Observers chanted and waved to parade-goers marching to the beat of drums.

Santa Claus and some friends ride in the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade Friday night. Click to view larger
Santa Claus and some friends ride in the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade Friday night.  (Fritz Olenberger photo)

Parade entries used their creative juices to interpret this year’s theme, “Colors of the Season,” and participants dressed in holiday apparel for the occasion.

Segways were decked out with lights, a lighted boat surrounded with presents was on top of a trailer, and costumed miniature horses made an appearance. 

On the corner of West Sola Street, Diana Uzun, 10, a Hope Elementary School student, was using a hula hoop and lighted jump rope while practicing her rhythmic gymnastic skills.

For the fourth year, Diana was participating with Rhythmic Gymnastics of Santa Barbara. 

It was showtime when she heard "Jingle Bell Rock."

“I’m excited about performing,” Uzun said. “We have been practicing for a long time.”

The parade, presented by Consumer Fire Products Inc., kicked off with the holiday prince, Grant Nelson, 8, — his 9th birthday approaching Saturday— and the holiday fairy, Valeria Galindo, 9, who led the parade riding in a red Shelby GT500 convertible.

“Some of my friends are going to be watching, and I’m excited to see them and excited to ride in the car,” said Nelson, a student at Notre Dame School. “I’m kind of excited just to be the prince.”

When the two waved their silver wand, the towering tree near the downtown intersection of State and Victoria streets illuminated with twinkling lights and a tree topper.

Galindo, a Franklin Elementary School student, said she was looking forward to lighting the tree.

The holiday prince and fairy were selected from winning artwork best capturing the parade theme.

This year’s grand marshal was Noah Wyle, a Santa Barbara County resident and film, television, and theatre actor — who rode in a Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo with his family.

“I’m thrilled to be here,” Wyle said. “Happy holidays to everyone.”

Event organizers expected more than 65,000 people to watch for free parade along the nearly mile-long course.

A special guest appearance by Santa Claus closed the parade.

The parade lineup included:

1. Opening Act

2. Colors of the Season Banner

3. Prince & Fairy / Compass California

4. Grand Marshal Noah Wyle / Santa Barbara Hot Rod Limo

5. Presenting Sponsor, Consumer Fire Products Inc.

6. Santa Barbara City Council

7. Santa Barbara Police Activities League

8. United Boys & Girls Club - Westside Unit

9. Sonos

10. La Cumbre Junior High Lancer Marching Band & Drill Team

11. Mission Linen Supply

12. Momentum Dance Company

13. Santa Barbara Woody Club

14. Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center

15. Girls Inc. Gymnastics

16. Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

17. Rincon Broadcasting

18. Goleta Elementary Schools Band

19. EF Education First

20. Santa Barbara City Fire Department

21. Chinelos Santa Barbara - Norte-Sur California

22. Macomber Karate Studio

23. Santa Barbara Youth Football League

24. Santa Barbara High School Marching Dons and Dance Team

25. Direct Relief

26. Santa Barbara Festival Ballet

27. Kenney Construction, Inc.

28. Canary Hotel

29. Santa Barbara Symphony & SBUSD's BRAVO!

30. Spirals Gymnastics

31. Adelante Charter School

32. Los Prietos Boys Camp

33. San Marcos High School Cheer

34. Boom Chaka

35. Santa Barbara International Film Festival

36. Santa Barbara Junior High School Band

37. Santa Barbara MTD 

38. Providence School

39. SB Buggie

40. La Boheme Dance

41. Special Olympics Santa Barbara

42. Pacifica High School Triton Marching Band and Color Guard

43. Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Inc.

44. The Towbes Group

45. Franklin School

46. United States Forest Service

47. Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club

48. Garden Street Academy

49. Boy Scout Troop 1

50. Rudenko School of Dance

51. Santa Barbara Veterans Foundation

52. Friday Night Bike Delights / SB Bike

53. Santa Barbara Sheriff Pipe & Drum Corps

54. Montecito Bank & Trust

55. Santa Barbara School of Performing Arts

56. Goleta Valley Girls Softball Association

57. Union Bank

58. Goleta Valley Junior High Marching Band & Dance Team

59. First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara

60. Dance with Harout

61. Notre Dame School

62. Santa Barbara Zoo

63. San Marcos Marching Band and Dance Guard

64. American Riviera Bank

65. The Dance Network

66. Tea in Tiaras

67. Mo-Leta All-Stars

68. Mission Villa

69. Santa Barbara High School Don Riders - Bike Club

70. ART from the HEART

71. La Colina Junior High School

72. Metropolitan Theatres

73. Dos Pueblos High School Jazz Choir & Goleta Stow House

74. Ice in Paradise Ice Arena

75. Young Singers Club

76. Inspire Dance Santa Barbara

77. Dos Pueblos Little League

78. Ed Hat

79. Santa Barbara Beautiful

80. Kids Helping Kids Santa Barbara

81. Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

82. Rhythmic Gymnastics of Santa Barbara


84. Santa Barbara Cars & Coffee

85. Dos Pueblos High School Marching Band, Cheer, Leadership, and Football

86. UCSB Sailing Team

87. Hula Anyone?

88. Girl Scouts of California Central Coast 

89. Marborg - Santa Float

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A giant inflatable snowflake is carried down State Street Friday night during the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. Click to view larger
A giant inflatable snowflake is carried down State Street Friday night during the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. (Fritz Olenberger photo)
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