Centennial Christmas parade is Friday

On Friday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., the 37th Annual Seal Beach Christmas Parade will begin its stately, and vibrant journey down the three blocks of Main Street from Ocean to Pacific Coast Highway. Under the skillful direction of parade chairman Scott Newton and nearly 100 fellow Lions, it will truly be as the theme suggest a visual and auditory feast through “10 Decades of Christmas Parades.” Each entry is to try to pick a decade of style in either Seal Beach past or present and embody that in their group.

With over 112 entries, including of course Santa Claus, it is the final major event for the city during its Centennial. There are over 3,600 participants and there will be four key announcers. Because it is a continuous motion parade, each announcer will be part of the team, like the Lions Marshals to ensure the flow and consistency of the parade.

Newton, the parade chairman since Jim Klisanin resigned over a decade ago said, “Though we are larger in size than many of the parades in the area, we are still focused on the small town feel, local groups and our kids as truly the celebrities of our community.” Seal Beach recently won the 4th friendliest city in Forbes Magazine.

For residents and visitors alike, Seal Beach in Christmas time is both festive and a throwback to the Norman Rockwell era of wholesome small town America. The Christmas Parade, which is produced by the Seal Beach Lions, co-produced with the City and presented by our title sponsor Southland Credit Union, is a celebration of child-like joy and innocence.

Entries like the “Almost Famous Kazoo Band” and the Women’s Club have been in the parade practically since inception.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have the support of Southland Credit Union, the City of Seal Beach, Run Seal Beach, Baytown Realty and Jim’s incredible Christmas party at the Baytown parking lot, and the many other sponsors,” Newton said.

Keep a special eye out for the incredible floats of Southland Credit and Phillips Steel—both of which look to celebrate the Centennial Christmas Parade in grand fashion.

For the third time, under of the announcer team, all entries will be judged on their best use of the theme—“10 Decades of Christmas Parades.” Categories include: Best of Show  (the group that brings over the top Holiday Spirit, which is not the loudest), Judge’s Choice (best presentation of theme in performance or display), People’s Choice (most endearing or adorable presentation of the theme and crowd response and enthusiasm is important), Most Festive (best visual and creative holiday concept of the theme) and Most Humorous (a blend of humor, style and theme that may be whimsical, funny or just outrageous and could make Santa laugh). Judges will be scattered along both sides of the route from Ocean Avenue to Pacific Coast Highway, so entries will want to perform continuously from start to finish.

Winning entries will be notified the following week and recognized at Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. Four representatives from each winning group may attend the breakfast as the guests and honorees of the parade.

The parade committee wishes all of the entries all the best for the event and also the opportunity to win. Who knows, there could be additional prizes as well.

Streets have a hard closure at 5 p.m. and look for your official Christmas Parade Guide by our media partner, Sun News. There will be magic in the air on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. as Laura Ellsworth, the Grand Marshal, and the World Series Bronco Pony Baseball team, cut the ribbon and start the parade.

Seth Eaker is co-chair of the Christmas Parade, and has been both Grand Marshal and the Citizen of the Year for Cypress College in the Parade.