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2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade presented by California Coast Credit Union

Saturday, December 1, 2018 @ 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Encinitas' favorite holiday tradition. Put it on your calendar. More than 100 parade entries will roll, march, cycle, scoot and cruise down the Coast Highway on the most magical night of the year.

For the 61st year, Encinitas will kick off the holiday season at the 2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade- presented by California Coast Credit Union on Saturday, December 1.  Thousands of people will be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while tens of thousands cheer them along the Parade route along Coast Highway 101.  Many of our nearly 100 parade entries aim to win a prize in one of the Parade’s judged categories for lights, creativity, performance, music, spirit and overall impression. 

Parade spectators will be able claim a good spot to watch the parade as soon as Coast Highway closes at 4 pm.  Followed by a countdown and ceremonial tree lighting, Santa himself will make a brief appearance to kick things off at 5 pm at the Lumberyard shops courtyard (near Starbucks).  The Parade starts promptly at 5:30 pm.

The 2018 parade theme is “Botanical Oasis”.  Encinitas has a deep history of flower growing, a terrific climate for growing a wide variety of beautiful and interesting plants and even boasts a world class botanic garden.  This year’s Parade theme ties in perfectly with the Holiday Parade Committee’s selection of Julian Duval as the 2018 Parade Grand Marshal.  Julian is retiring in January after 24 years of leadership as President and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Parking Shuttles - FREE parking shuttles will run from San Dieguito Academy High School (parking lot located on the corner of Melba Road and Nardo Road) and from the YMCA/Ecke Sports Park parking lot on Saxony Road. Both shuttles start running at 4pm and go until 8:30pm. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes and will drop you off at the NCTD bus station on Vulcan Avenue, just a half block from the Parade route. 

Find Parade information at or call the City of Encinitas Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department at (760) 633-2740.

Special thanks to the Encinitas Holiday Parade Presenting Sponsor, California Coast Credit Union and additional Sponsors; Lazy Acres Natural Market Encinitas, Le Port Montessori School, School of Rock Encinitas, AMR Ambulance, the San Diego Padres and EDCO.

2018 Encinitas Holiday Parade Award Winners

The City of Encinitas congratulates its winners in the following judging categories.  

Best Overall
Magdalena Ecke YMCA Falcon Nation

Best Use of Theme
1st :  Polestar Performing Arts Academy
2nd :  Encinitas Country Day School
3rd :  LePort Montessori Schools

Best Use of Lights
1st :  Magdalena Ecke YMCA Bear Nation
2nd :  Magdalena Ecke YMCA Wildcat Nation
3rd :  Beacon’s Bible Church

Best Spirit
1st :  Encinitas Union School District
2nd :  Stage Door Dance
3rd :  Gitano Street Neighbors

Best Children's Group
1st :  Magdalena Ecke YMCA Bear Nation
2nd:  Encinitas Union School District
3rd:  Stage Door Dance

Best Performance
1st :  Visions Car Club
2nd    Stage Door Dance
3rd:  Leading Note Studios

Best Marching Band
1st :   San Dieguito Academy Marching Band
2nd :  La Costa Canyon Maverick Brigade, Cheer and Dance
3rd :  Oak Crest and Diegueno Middle School Combined Marching Band

Most Unusual
1st :  Encinitas Sasquatch Society
2nd : Visions Car Club
3rd : Encinitas Country Day School