Activities to include concerts and more
There’s no parade, but Downtown Santa Barbara remains determined to celebrate the holidays.
And the celebration starts this weekend.
The Downtown Santa Barbara staff and board decided to cancel this year’s Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, which normally would draw in more than 100,000 spectators and take place on the first Friday in December.
In lieu of the parade, the nonprofit planned a series of holiday events that kick-off on Saturday. The Downtown Santa Barbara 2021 Magical Holiday Happenings, presented by Consumer Fire Products, Inc., includes a Christmas tree lighting, Chanukah menorah lighting, concerts, outdoor markets and community performances.
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Holiday season events will kick off with Small Business Saturday, aimed at supporting local vendors. Many local businesses offer special promotions for this nationwide shopping event. Learn more at downtownsb.org/events/small-business-saturday.
FIRST THURSDAY ARTWALK ( DEC. 2, 5-8 P.M.)
Free art and cultural happenings will be taking place at participating venues downtown, including performances by the Santa Barbara Revels and the Santa Barbara Trombone Society. In addition, there will be a Chanukah menorah lighting ceremony hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. More than 30 venues will feature entertainment, shopping and food. Learn more at .downtownsb.org/events/1st-thursday.
STATE STREET PROMENADE MARKET (DEC. 2, 9, 16 & 23, 3:00 – 7:30 P.M.)
Santa Barbara businesses and artisans offer their wares alongside live entertainment and food from nearby restaurants. The market will offer letter writing to Santa, special holiday performances and an appearance from Santa Claus himself.
Learn more at downtownsb.org/events/downtown-state-street-promenade-market.
CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING AND HOLIDAY BLOCK PARTY (DEC.3, 6-9 P.M.)
There will be a block party in front of the Arlington Theatre, 1317 State St. The party will feature music by DJ Darla Bea, live entertainment and the lighting ceremony of the State Street Christmas tree by the Holiday Prince & Fairy, sponsored by Paseo Nuevo Shops & Restaurants. The Christmas tree is sponsored by Consumer Fire Products, Inc. Santa Claus will be on-site for photos.
The Christmas Tree lighting process starts with children, who are invited to submit a drawing depicting the year’s theme on paper no larger than 11 by 17 inches. This year’s theme is “Magical Holiday Happenings.”
Two artists are chosen to light the tree. Usually this would kick off the Annual Holiday Parade, but this year, it will kick off a series of 11 Magical Holiday Events.
To enter the contest, artists grades K-6 can pick up the official application and then drop off an entry at one of these locations:
— Downtown Santa Barbara Office, 27-B E. De la Guerra St.
— Paseo Nuevo Management Office, second level, 651 Paseo Nuevo.
The Prince & Fairy application deadline is 5 p.m. Nov. 29, and winners will be announced on Dec. 1.
Only children who are able to participate in the Christmas Tree Lighting/Holiday Block Party are invited to submit entries. The Prince and Fairy must also be available for a radio and/or TV interview that morning.
Learn more at: downtownsb.org/events/2021-holiday-events.
HOLIDAY COMMUNITY PERFORMANCES (DEC. 4, 11 AND 18, NOON TO 4 P.M.)
On Dec. 4 and 18, there will be holiday performances by local music and dance groups performing live at Storke Placita (700 State St). On Dec. 11, there will be a Big Christmas Brass Show.
HOLIDAY CONCERTS (DEC. 10 AND 17, 5 to 8 P.M.)
Each night, State Street will feature performances by multiple groups at various locations.