Downtown Holiday Parade Replaced with Series of Events

Source: Downtown Santa Barbara

After much thought and consideration, Downtown Santa Barbara staff and nonprofit board of directors have decided not to host the Holiday Parade in 2021.

In a typical year, the Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc., draws crowds upwards of 100,000 spectators, and takes place on the first Friday in December. In lieu of a single event this year, and with community health and safety in mind, staff has planned a plethora of smaller holiday offerings!

The Downtown Santa Barbara 2021 Magical Holiday Happenings; presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc.  kicks off with Small Business Saturday in November and includes a Christmas tree lighting event, Chanukah menorah lighting event, outdoor markets, concerts, and even community performances throughout the month of December. We hope the community will come together to celebrate the holidays in a safe and festive manner. See below for the full schedule of events. 

All holiday happenings listed below are free and open to the public! All ages welcome.
Small Business Saturday (Saturday, November 27, All day)
Help support local businesses as we kick off the Holiday Season. Join us on Saturday, November 27 (the day after Black Friday), for Small Business Saturday. It’s all about supporting small businesses, helping to boost our local economy, and getting some of your holiday shopping done early! Many local businesses offer special promotions for this nationwide shopping event — come see what goodies you might find.
1st Thursday ArtWalk (Thursday, December 2, 5:00 – 8:00 PM)
Join us for complimentary art and cultural happenings at participating venues downtown. Enjoy holiday performances by the Santa Barbara Revels, and the Santa Barbara Trombone Society. Plus, a Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Be sure to visit one of the 30+ participating venues for entertainment, shopping, and tasty treats!
State Street Promenade Market (Thursday, December 2, 9, 16 & 23, 3:00 – 7:30 PM)
State Street becomes a bustling market on the 900 and 1000 Block for this exciting locals’ night. Shop local Santa Barbara businesses, makers, and artisans in a family-friendly atmosphere. Plus, enjoy live entertainment at the Market, and grab a delicious meal from one of the many nearby restaurants. Come join in all the holiday festivities that the market has to offer from letter writing to Santa, special holiday performances, and maybe even a special appearance from Santa Claus himself!
Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Block Party (Friday, December 3, 6:00 – 9:00 PM)
Join us for a holiday block party on State Street (Sola St. to Victoria St.) and in front of the Arlington Theatre! Enjoy live entertainment, music by DJ Darla Bea, and of course the lighting ceremony of the State Street Christmas tree by the Holiday Prince & Fairy, sponsored by Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants! The Christmas tree is generously sponsored by Consumer Fire Products, Inc. to help make State Street holiday festivities even more magical. Santa Claus will be onsite for photos.
Holiday Community Performances (Saturday, December 4, 11 & 18, 12:00 – 4:00 PM)
Join us on December 4 and 18, for special holiday performances by local music and dance groups performing live at Storke Placita (700 State Street). On December 11, revel and be amazed by the Big Christmas Brass Show! Bring your folding chairs and snacks!
Holiday Concerts (Friday, December 10 & 17, 5:00 – 8:00 PM)
Join us on State Street for concerts under the stars! Performances by multiple groups each night, location varies. Bring your folding chair, blankets, and snacks!
Is YOUR business hosting a holiday activity or New Years Eve event for the community? Let us know! Share your special activity, offering, or promotion and we’ll add it to our Downtown Santa Barbara holiday shopping guide, calendar of events, and/or on our social media. Email to be added!
Questions? Want to get involved? Contact us!
Small Business Saturday:
1st Thursday ArtWalk:
State Street Promenade Market:
Holiday Tree Lighting:
Holiday Concerts & Community Performances:
Holiday Shopping Guide/ Marketing/Social Media/E-newsletter:
Sponsorship: Robin Elander, Executive Director,


Written by downtownsantabarbara

Press releases from the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization. Learn more at

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  1. This is the new normal. We can never have the mass gatherings of unmasked people that characterized special community events in the past. However, we are developing a new more regimented and structured way of living. It’s hard for those of us with long memories of the way life used to be to adapt, but fortunately the children of today will not be burdened by memories of life before masks.

  2. …and now, direct from the mostly unvaccinated part of this great planet, we are proud to present to you the latest variant in Nature’s attempt to eradicate all human life – ladies and gentlemen – give a warm welcome to Omicron B.1.1.529.

  3. Omicron was first detected in Africa. Interestingly, Africa is one of the regions of the world that is least affected by covid despite a vaccination rate of about 6%. Experts predicted a catastrophe would occur in Africa and they are struggling to figure out why that has not happened yet. Also of interest, hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines had been on track to go to Africa. However, all these doses were diverted to wealthier countries to provide booster shots once it became apparent that vaccine effectiveness diminishes quickly.

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