San Diego Parade in Doubt

A wildly popular civic Christmas event in the San Diego, California area might not be held this year due to a ‘lack of time’. Even though Christmas comes every December 25th and even though the annual parade which draws tens of thousands is as popular as ever the community of Encinitas may not hold their parade this year.

Two years ago then-city Mayor Dan Dalager changed its name from Holiday Parade to Christmas Parade.

The parade was held but only after a series of complaints were showered upon city officials by Jewish community groups who claimed the city was favoring one religion over another on the taxpayer’s dime. In recent past years the parade was managed by the city. But that changed earlier this year when they were more than anxious to dump responsibility for the event off on the chamber of commerce.

The chamber had organized holiday parades – on a smaller scale – in the 1980s before the city took over the task in the 1990s. Chamber officials even thought about changing the event’s name to Poinsettia Parade to be inclusive. Now they are leaning towards not holding the event at all.

“One of the things we are considering is that maybe not doing it in ’07 but doing it in ’08,” chamber Executive Director Gary Tucker said. “We have not said we are not doing it. We want to make sure we are doing it right. We’re looking at all options.”

Yesterday, news that the parade might not be held upset some.

“It’s probably one of the coolest events the city puts on,” Deputy Mayor Jerome Stocks said. “There will be a lot of disappointed people if the chamber doesn’t hold a parade.

Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan said she was shocked.

“People are just blown away,” she said. “People love the parade. It’s community-building.”


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