Latest Best of LA

Best Christmas Parades In Los Angeles

December 13, 2013 4:00 AM

(credit: Mark Ashman / Disney  / Getty Images)

(credit: Mark Ashman / Disney / Getty Images)

(credit: Alberto E. Rodgiguez / Getty Images)

(credit: Alberto E. Rodgiguez / Getty Images)

With the holiday season in full swing, there’s nothing quite like a Christmas parade to spread the infectious holiday cheer.
(credit:  David McNew/Getty Images)

(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

31st Annual Parade of 1,000 Lights
Shoreline Yacht Club of Long Beach
386 Shoreline Drive
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 435-4093
Date: Dec. 14, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

The Shoreline Yacht Club is hosting this year’s Annual Parade of 1000 Lights in the downtown Long Beach marina area. The Parade of 1,000 lights is a Christmas boat parade that starts at Shoreline Marina and passes through Rainbow Harbor as well as the Queen Mary. “Sand, Surf and Santa” is the theme for this year’s parade. The most fun part of the parade is watching to see who makes the best use of their lights, especially when the lights dance in synchronization with the music.

(credit: Marina Del Rey Boat Parade)

(credit: Marina Del Rey Boat Parade)

51st Annual Marina Del Rey Holiday Boat Parade
Burton W. Chace Park
13650 Mindanao Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 305-9595
Date: Dec. 14, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

One thing really unique to Los Angeles are holiday boat parades considering its proximity to any number of its great beaches. When the Marina folks first started doing the parade, there were only 100 boats in the Marina, but that ship has grown to as many as 6,000 boats. The theme of this year’s holiday boat parade is “Holiday Magic.” The grand marshals for the event will be Jeanie Buss, the woman responsible for running the business operations for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Phil Jackson, former head coach of the LA Lakers.



Naples Island 67th Annual Holiday Boat Parade
Naples Canals
Long Beach, CA 90803
Date: Dec. 21, 2013 at 6 p.m.

The Naples Canals has a more intimate holiday boat parade compared to Marina Del Rey. Some people describe it as one of the coziest, friendliest and coolest places in Southern California for a Christmas parade on the water. While bigger is better for most parades, what sets Naples apart is that even kayakers, outriggers and canoes get all decked out in the spirit of Christmas. The best views are always on Naples Island itself but you can also watch along the canals and nearby bridges. This year’s theme for the parade is “Vintage Christmas”.

Related: Best Boating Trips Near Los Angeles

(credit: Ed Kreiger)

(credit: Ed Kreiger)

54th Annual Los Angeles County Holiday Celebration
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 972-0711
Date: Dec. 24, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Though technically not a parade, it’s a favorite holiday tradition in LA for kids and those young at heart. It’s a huge three-hour holiday show filled with amazing talent from more than a dozen choirs, musicians and dancers representing their distinct neighborhoods and cultures that makes LA one of the most diverse places to live.

(credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

(credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)

125th Tournament of Roses Rose Parade
Green St. and Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91184
(626) 449-4100
When: Jan. 1, 2014 at 8 a.m.

As LA’s longest-standing holiday tradition, the Rose Parade is one of the most renowned parades in the country. This year’s theme, or rather next year’s, is “Dreams Come True.” For a reverse Christmas parade, get a sneak peak at all of the floats beforehand by parading around through any one of the float decorating and viewing locations from December 27 through December 31. Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Vin Scully will grand marshal the 2014 parade.

Related: Best Places To Get A Hot Toddy in Los Angeles

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Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on

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