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Ocean Beach Christmas Parade 2012: Celebrating 125 Years of Beach Life

by Blake Bunch, published
Credit: Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association

Ocean Beach, much like all the various neighborhoods and towns that compose San Diego, definitely maintains its own eclectic vibe and feel. Honestly, the community even coined a term for its residents - "OBceans." As the city gears up for the last month of the holiday season, parades, light shows, fundraisers, charity drives, and other community get togethers begin to fill up citizens' calendars. The Ocean Beach Christmas Parade has been occurring for over thirty years now, and continues to truly reflect the character of its residents, and the city overall.

The parade will begin at 5:05pm "OB time," which can ensure one that it may begin ten to twenty minutes after the set time. Occurring every year between Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Abbot Street on the commercial district of Newport Avenue, the parade draws families and young adults alike.

Throngs of San Diegans attend the parade, which is arguably defended as "one of the best Christmas Parades in southern California," gazing upon the VW Beetle Club, classic "woody" automobiles, the Point Loma High School Marching Band, and local restaurant and business floats. Operating with a minimal budget, this is a truly community oriented event. All participants either fundraise on their own, or fund out of pocket to decorate their floats and participate in the parade. Several live bands play while cruising down Newport Avenue

This holiday event is billed to celebrate "125 years of OB fun," which is an impressive landmark for the quaint surfing community. The OB tree lighting ceremony, held every thursday before the Christmas parade, kicks off the weekend festivities, and is followed by the craft fair on the green by the tree from 11am to 2pm leading up to the parade on Saturday.

The OB Christmas Parade is obviously not exclusive to OB residents, as spectators from all over the city regularly attend every year. Though earlier than most area Christmas parades, the OB spectacle surely will be a fantastic kickstart approaching the end of the holiday season.

Photo credit: Joe Ewing

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