Holiday parades, festivals light up San Diego

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December Nights

Balboa Park

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SAN DIEGO -- 'Tis the time to be jolly around San Diego County Saturday, with a number of holiday events scheduled, including the return of Chula Vista's Starlight Parade following a two-year absence.

The 50-year-old Starlight Parade fell victim to funding problems the past two years, but returns Saturday night at 6 p.m., along Third Avenue from H Street to E Street. The city of Chula Vista and community groups have covered the cost of the parade.

It will cap an afternoon of holiday activities at nearby Memorial Park -- 373 Park Way -- that includes strolling carolers and other musical entertainment, Santa Claus and reindeer, and a snow hill.

Other parades set for today include the annual North Park Toyland Festival and Parade, beginning at 10 a.m. at University Avenue and Utah Street; the 35th annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade, which will start at 5 p.m. and run along Newport Avenue from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to Santa Monica Avenue; and the Encinitas Holiday Parade, which also begins at 5 p.m. along Coast Highway 101.

Little Italy's 14th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at West Fir Street, between India and Kettner streets. Spectators can enjoy live music, refreshments and vendors selling holiday gifts.

The final day of the December Nights holiday festival begins at noon throughout Balboa Park, with museums open for free between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. The second day of "Holiday Wonderland," which includes snow scenes, train rides and decorative lights at Petco Park, begins at 5 p.m.

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