Holiday Happenings in Santa Barbara

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Holiday Happenings in Santa Barbara
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By Robert Bernstein

Lots of Holiday Happenings around Santa Barbara!

Starting with the 66th Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade The highlight of the parade for me was the La Boheme Professional Dance Group

They were decked out in magnificent holiday costumes and danced their way down State Street.

It was quite a challenge, as the organizers did not pace the parade properly. There were huge gaps between each of the 84 ensembles in the parade. Yet each ensemble was being pushed to move very fast. All the elaborate rehearsals and costume designs were a loss for much of the participants and spectators. I talked to several ensemble participants who said they could not really even perform at all; they mostly just had to run down the street! Even so, it was an event not to miss!

Here you can see all of my videos and photos from the Holiday Parade!

Plenty of marching bands, dancers, gymnastics performers, elected officials, firefighters and other first responders and even some Zoo animals!

Another highlight for me was an array of balloon floats reminiscent of the famous Macy's Parade. Here was a gingerbread house balloon float!

And the Santa Barbara International Film Festival had a shark balloon float "attacking" the crowd!

There was also the annual boat parade of lights. This guy (formerly Santa) was resting after paddling his kayak for about 90 minutes in the parade with reindeer and a basket of presents:

After the boat parade was a spectacular fireworks show. Here was just the Grand Finale!

There were several Hanukkah celebrations around town during the eight days of Hanukkah. We attended the last one on December 10 at the Jewish Community Center. Just as the holiday was ending at sundown. Here was a final lighting of the Menorah candles and singing songs

The Santa Barbara Night Market is an ongoing feast of gifts, food and entertainment. Here "Kaptain Konstruct" serves up Nitro Coffee

The Night Market is open 4pm - 10pm Thursday - Sunday at 701 State Street through December 29. In the former Macy's at Paseo Nuevo.

Here are more of my photos at the Night Market!

I started taking Swing Dance classes from Sylvia Sykes and her dance partner Jonathan Bixby back in 1989. Sylvia still teaches at the Carrillo Ballroom. And generously donates a free dance session there every Wednesday from 8:30-9:30PM for most of the year.

Here Sylvia posed with me at her Winter Swing Dance Social

Here are the rest of my Sylvia Winter Swing Dance Social photos!

I am honored to be a part of the Santa Barbara Early Music Ensemble. On December 8 we performed an Early Music Christmas concert to a full house at the Carpinteria Community Church. Huge thanks to Katie Saxon for directing us. Katie chose all the music from a period around 500 years ago. And rehearsed us for months in preparation. Katie is the one at the far right with the tambourine in her hand

Here you can watch and listen to our entire concert!

Every group you can think of and some you never thought of has a holiday party! Here our Sierra Club party attendees were gathering food for our feast!

Here are the rest of my Sierra Club Holiday Party photos! You can see our Outings Chair Tony Biegen receiving an award on behalf of all of the hikes we lead each year. And our Group Chair Katie Davis presenting good news on environmental progress. Including Ventura County pledging to go 100% renewable for electricity! An inspiration to keep working on doing our part to stop Climate Change!

A good message for us all: Get out and celebrate! And then get ready to get back to the good work each of us is doing in our community and for the betterment of the world!

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sbrobert Dec 16, 2018 10:06 PM
Holiday Happenings in Santa Barbara

Thank you POTIF for the very kind words! ========================================================================== FLICKA, the 66 years comes from the information about the Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. Perhaps the Christmas Parade in 1947 had a separate history. Way cool that you were part of that! Yes, we heard about the Una Noche de Las Posadas at the last minute. But we have had multiple events each evening these days. Tis the season! Perhaps we can catch it next year!

Flicka Dec 15, 2018 09:41 AM
Holiday Happenings in Santa Barbara

Parade only 66 years old? I rode a donkey, as "Mary", in the Christmas parade in 1947. Robert, I wish you had come to Una Noche de Las Posadas last night put on by The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Perseveration. Started at the Presidio Chapel, wound up and down State and ended at Casa de La Guerra with free tamales, enchiladas, and hot chocolate for everyone. .It was quite spectacular, and fun.

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