Ring in this holiday season and watch the parade of lights in Santa Barbara on December 14. This year will be the 29th annual Parade of Lights in Santa Barbara! The Parade of Lights is a festive celebrated institution that many locals look forward to each year and its presence indicates the unofficial start of the holiday season. The parade of like kicks off at 3:00 p.m. Be sure to score a prime viewing location for the 5-7 minute firework display. (Fireworks in December is one of the many perks of spending the holidays in Santa Barbara.)
Insider Tip: the best viewing areas for the parade are Stearns Wharf and SB Breakwater so get there early to grab a spot.
After the fireworks display, look to the harbor for the famous boat parade. Each year about 30 boats participate and vie for the best decorated boat!
We recommend packing an outdoor picnic basket before heading out to watch the Parade of Lights. For an excellent assortment of picnic basket goodies, head to Tupelo Junction Café (1218 State St.). The café itself is laidback and we love to grab lunch here on a casual Saturday but they are more than happy to do to-go orders as well. The Grilled Tequila Chicken wrap is delicious or if you’re feeling more adventurous try the Fried Green Tomato BLT. For gourmet fare, don’t miss Isabela Gourmet Foods (5 E Figueroa Street). This boutique artisan grocery is a foodie paradise. Enjoy a wide variety of sandwiches, quiches and salads all perfect to grab and pack in your outdoor movie screening picnic basket.