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Santa Barbara's 57th annual holiday parade

Downtown Santa Barbara
Downtown Santa Barbara for the Holidays

Unwrap the magic of downtown Santa Barbara during the 57th Annual Holiday Parade Friday, December 4. More than 50,000 spectators will line the streets for Santa Barbara’s exciting night time parade. The parade begins at 6:30 PM on State and Sola Streets and proceeds down State toward Victoria Street where it stops for the lighting of the city's giant Christmas tree before concluding the route at the corner of Cota Street. Be sure to watch for the Holiday Prince, Nick Schaedler and Fairy, Sydney Lynn Hlavaty leading the parade riding in a horse drawn carriage with this year's Grand Marshal Smokey the Bear.

This Friday promises to entertain young and old alike in downtown Santa Barbara. The parade includes giant helium balloon characters floating down the street along with festive performance groups in colorful costumes, fabulously restored antique cars and beautifully decorated floats. There will be high-stepping marching bands performing Yuletide classics. You can't help but wave back to the many local personalities in the parade or the parties that follow. Of course the parade's grand finale is all about the one and only Santa Claus handing out candy canes from his authentic hand-built sleigh being pulled by reindeer. For those that can't wait, Santa can be found prior to the parade at Paseo Nuevo's center court from 4:00-5:30 pm. Don't forget your Santa hat!

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Friday night's festivities in Santa Barbara include the annual Mistletoe Ball XVIII at the Four Seasons Biltmore. Plenty of holiday cheer can be found downtown in many nightclubs and restaurants