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Santa Barbara Holiday Festivities, 2019


People gathered for the Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade on State Street

Photo courtesy of Downtown Santa Barbara Org

The holiday festivities are beginning, and Santa Barbara is the place to celebrate the season with a calendar full of fun and memorable happenings. Get ready to make lasting memories with loved ones in paradise!

67th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade

December 6, 2019
Cost: Admission is free.
Don’t miss the 67th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade on State Street, our fine city’s main thoroughfare. The festive theme for 2019 is “A Tropical Holiday.” Hundreds of participants are expected again this year for the annual extravaganza that will feature illuminated floats, holiday-themed balloons, performance groups, marching bands, and the most anticipated appearance of the season — Santa Claus. Grab a window seat at a downtown Santa Barbara restaurant or set up your own chair along State Street. Either way, you’ll leave feeling the excitement of the season.

Snow Leopard Festival & Sledding at Santa Barbara Zoo

December 8, 2019
Cost: Sledding free with paid admission; Bounce houses $5/child.
The Santa Barbara Zoo’s Snow Leopard Festival is a wild way to celebrate the season. This family-fun festival includes activities like sledding down the zoo’s “mini-Himalayan” mountains and a visit from the big man himself, Santa. This is the perfect time to learn about the conservation efforts surrounding the endangered snow leopard and rejoice in this beautiful animal. It’s also a place the entire family can romp in the snow.

Parade of Lights

December 8, 2019
Cost: Admission is free.
The holiday festivities in a quintessential coastal town like Santa Barbara wouldn’t be complete without our annual Parade of Lights along the waterfront. Hundreds of families are expected again this year to witness all the brightly decorated boats parade around the Santa Barbara Harbor. Join the fun by getting out on the water with Parade of Lights public boat cruise or private charterThis year’s theme is “Deep Space Holidays.” The festivities include a Santa’s Village, where kids can play in 10 tons of snow and take photos with Santa.

Carpinteria’s Annual Holiday Spirit Parade

3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
Cost: Admission is free.
Carpinteria’s annual Holiday Spirit Parade begins at Ninth Street, turns left on Linden Avenue, continues up Linden Avenue, makes a U-turn at the corner of Linden and Carpinteria avenues to end at Sixth Street. This daytime parade attracts energetic performers, cheerful participants, festive floats and canines in costumes.

4th Annual Goleta Old Town Christmas Parade 

6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
Cost: Admission is free
Take the whole family and head to Hollister Avenue, between Orange and Kinman avenues for holiday festivities including an exciting procession of holiday merrymakers. Enjoy the tree-lighting in front of the Goleta Valley Community Center after the procession, which will end around 8 p.m. There’s good news if you’ve ever wanted to meet Santa because he is attending the gathering.

Let It Snow at Paseo Nuevo

Now to December 31, 2019
Cost: Admission is free.
Don’t miss the sight of Santa Barbara’s night sky filled with “snow, “as the magic of winter will be felt by shoppers and families at Paseo Nuevo. Two times a night at 6:00 PM and 7:00 pm, revelers are invited to meander to Center Court where “snow” will be falling, and Santa will be working in his workshop. Please note: No shows on Christmas Day, December 25.

The Annual Milpas Street Holiday Parade

5:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14
Cost: Admission is free
This holiday parade will take place along Santa Barbara’s Milpas Street, from Canon Perdido to Mason Street. Hosted by the Santa Barbara Eastside Society, this year’s parade theme is “Christmas Everywhere.” Santa also will be making a special appearance.

The 28th Annual Candy Cane Train

Weekends now through December 22

Cost: Admission $5.00
The South Coast Railroad Museum in Goleta is hosting this event, inviting everyone to ride holiday-decorated trains. The event runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Santa Claus himself will be at events on Dec. 20 through Dec. 22.

Rockstar Trolley of Lights Tour

December 7 to 30, 2019
Costs: $28/adult, $18/children (ages 2 to 12); Free admission for children age 2 and under. 
Have you ever taken this family-friendly, 90-minute tour around Santa Barbara? You must. Hop on the trolley to see all our stunning holiday displays and beautifully lit neighborhoods. Complimentary hot chocolate will warm you up a bit, but be sure to wear warm clothing, as the trolley does get chilly after sunset. The pick-up location is at the Santa Barbara Zoo and check-in begins an hour prior to your scheduled ride. Enjoy complimentary candy canes too.

Una Noche de Las Posadas

December 13, 2019
Cost: Admission is free.
Don’t miss the special Una Noche de Las Posadas reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter in Bethlehem as it was once celebrated in early California. The story is still observed throughout Latin America, but you don’t have to board a plane to see the magic. Just head to the El Presidio de Santa Bárbara chapel where the procession begins and continues through De La Guerra Plaza. Chime in with the singing of holiday songs in Spanish. The parade concludes at Casa de la Guerra where tamales, traditional desserts, and hot chocolate are served.

Photos with Santa

Now to December 24
Cost: Admission is free.
There are plenty of opportunities during the Santa Barbara holiday festivities to snap a pic and hear a few “ho, ho, ho’s” from the man of the hour, Santa. Get a Fast Pass and avoid the lines when you see Santa at La Cumbre Plaza, the exclusive Santa Barbara home to such popular retailers as Macy’s and Tiffany & Co. Or, snap a photo with Santa Claus at his home at Paseo Nuevo. Move over reindeer, Santa has room on his sled Tuesday evenings for photos with your beloved pets. The Christmas bonus: every child that attends receives a free gift from Santa.

If you are looking for a new home where you can celebrate the season with all the holiday festivals and parades for many years to come in Montecito, Hope Ranch or another of the Santa Barbara area’s upscale communities, just give me a call at +1 (805) 886-9378 or email me at I will happily add your listing to my portfolio of amazing estates for sale and find you a new home at the same time. Let’s rejoice and celebrate the season and holiday festivities together!


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