The OB Holiday Pandemic Parade 2020 – ‘You Are the Parade’ – Floats Will Be Set Up in Dog Beach Parking Lot for ‘Drive-Through’ View

by on November 30, 2020 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

For the first time in OB history – “you are the parade!” says the Ocean Beach Town Council. The village will have a totally unusual pandemic “parade”. The holiday theme this year is, appropriately,  “Home for the Holidays.”

Here’s what the OBTC says:

Your favorite “floats” from the classic OB Holiday Parade will be setup in the Dog Beach Parking Lot for you and your family to drive through and view from the comfort (and safety) of your vehicle. Plus – you are welcome to decorate your vehicle to get in on the action!

Santa will be making an appearance and there will be a mailbox to drop letters to Santa (Santa’s elves might just write back!).

Reservations will be required and a limited number of vehicles will be permitted.

You are also the judge of the parade this year! As you drive through the parade you’ll cast your ballot for: Best Overall, Best Use of Lights, Best OB Spirit, Best Use of Theme, and Most Unusual.

This event is currently pending final approval by the City of San Diego and is subject to health order related cancellation by OBTC, the City or County of San Diego, or the State of California.

Since the nature of our event is all outside for Participants, and in private vehicles for Attendees, the City has deemed it safe to continue, even while in the Purple Tier. If you have specific questions about safety protocols for this event, please contact us. Our number one priority is the safety and health of all involved in this event, followed closely by bringing some holiday joy to OB in the midst of what has been a crazy year.

Make sure to add an OBTC HOLIDAY SWAG BAG to you reservation! Swag Bags will feature goodies from all of the reverse-parade entrants, some of our sponsors, and a few special OBTC surprises. AND 3 lucky swag bags will receive a $50 gift card to a local restaurant – it could be you!

Trolley Rides through the displays have been cancelled due to safety and health concerns.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY TO HAVE A “FLOAT” IN THE PARADE – However, deadline was Nov. 25


More Details

Reverse-Parade Details

The Dog Beach Parking Lot will be used for the reverse-parade. Floats (now called “Entrants”) will have assigned, stationary, 10’ x 30’ spaces in the parking lot in which to set up their “Displays”. Entrants will be allowed 10 assigned Participants in the space at any given time. Entrants will be issued 10 access passes. You may take shifts and trade out participants in the space if you choose. Only designated and credentialed Participants will be allowed in the event area. Number of Participants is subject to change pending health orders.

The event will be open to the public from 5pm – 8pm on December 5, 2020.

This event is currently pending final approval by the City of San Diego and is subject to health order related cancellation by OBTC, the City or County of San Diego, or the State of California. Entrance fees will be refunded if cancelled due to health order related mandates. Refunds will not be granted in any other situation. Event is rain or shine.

Entrants will be judged and all awards will be ‘people’s choice’. There will be no ‘official judges’ for this event.

City guidelines prohibit live performances. Pre-recorded amplified music will be permitted on a case-by-case basis (so that the parade attendee only experiences one amplification at a time). No electricity is available.

Absolutely no alcohol whatsoever will be allowed inside the secure area.

Entrants are asked (but not required) to provide a small item-of-value for the goodie-bag which will be distributed to 250 parade attendees. As no items are to be distributed from your Display, this is your opportunity to put something in the hands of attendees! To be included in the goodie-bag, 250 items must be dropped off at the Ocean Beach Business Center during business hours (11a-5p, M-F) by the end of the day on Tuesday, December 1.

You may purchase more than one space, reach out to to inquire about this option.

The theme for this year is Home For The Holidays.

Categories for judging are:

  • Best Overall
  • Best Use of Lights
  • Best OB Spirit
  • Best Use of Theme
  • Most Unusual


10am – 3pm | Lot is open for Display Setup
3pm | Vehicle access to parking lot closes
4:15 pm | Parade Directors final check for all Entrants / Displays
4:45 pm | Early Access Starts
5pm – 8pm | Public Access
9pm – 10pm | Breakdown
10:30pm | Display space must be completely empty, trash disposed of

Please direct any questions to

2020 Reverse-Parade Guidelines

All participants must abide by the City of San Diego’s Parade and Float Requirements, including the requirements to have appropriate fire extinguisher(s). If you are required to have a fire extinguisher, make sure it has not expired!

Participants are not required to use a moving vehicle “float” as their entry. They may utilize their 10’ x 30’ space as a “display” area as long as all other requirements are followed.
Participants must also abide by the Supplemental Guidelines for Vehicle-Based Reverse Parades laid out by the City of San Diego. Pay special attention to the final section titled ‘Parade and Float Elements.

Nothing may be handed out or thrown from any float or parade entry (such as candy, promotional flyers, etc.)

For the safety of others and to reduce litter, this includes anything at any time.

his is a family event and ALL entries must be “family friendly.” There shall be no nudity or references to illegal activities, including drug abuse. Entries will not be allowed to enter the parade route if found to be unacceptable by the Ocean Beach Town Council or the OBTC Holiday Parade Committee.

Participants are responsible for cleaning up their own litter. This includes any animal droppings.

Persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to participate in the event.

Open fires or flames are NOT PERMITTED in the parade by order of the Fire Marshal.

There is only ONE official Santa Claus in the event, designated by the OBTC; other complete Santa Claus outfits or costumes are NOT PERMITTED in the parade. Santa hats are acceptable.
Contingents that do not match the characterization of the entry as described in the application are subject to removal from the parade at the discretion of Parade Directors.
Any transgression may result in either ejection from the parade and/or prohibiting the applicant from participating in any future parades or other Ocean Beach Town Council events.
Parade fees are non-refundable under all circumstances (except health order related cancellations as detailed above) including event cancellation due to inclement weather or exclusion from the parade due to failure to adhere to the OBTC Holiday Parade rules.

If you are dropping off participants under the age of 18 – your vehicle must stay running at all times, do not leave your vehicle. Be sure to coordinate with an adult from your group to meet your participants at the drop-off zone.

The Ocean Beach Town Council and the Parade Directors appointed by the OBTC retain the right to refuse participation of any entry that fails to comply with the any of the above rules at all times. Failure to adhere to any of the rules or any directions made by parade officials during the event puts the parade, the OBTC, and the community at risk.
Attendees must stay inside their assigned display space unless they are moving with intention to or from the entrance, exit, or restroom.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie December 5, 2020 at 11:40 am

Nothing in this information refers to a fee for observing the reverse parade, but today’s U-T says locals will be charged $15 and non-residents $25. Reverse parades in Lakeside and La Jolla are free. What is real?


Debbie December 5, 2020 at 12:49 pm
Chris Needham December 5, 2020 at 3:21 pm

You want to get locked up?
Pay the man.
No more discussion.
Pay the man.


Peggy December 6, 2020 at 12:49 pm

My four year old grandson had a wonderful time at the “parade”. He thought he was the star of the show. Many thanks to those who put it together.


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