Pandemic-adapted drive-through parade highlights holiday events in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

Ocean's Beach's annual holiday parade will have a different look Dec. 5, with floats stationary and spectators driving by.
Ocean’s Beach’s annual holiday parade will have a different look Saturday, Dec. 5, with floats set up in the Dog Beach parking lot and spectators driving by.

With the pandemic keeping many of us home for coronavirus-restricted holidays, here are some of the special events in the Ocean Beach-Point Loma area, several of which have made adaptations to continue providing ways to celebrate the season.

Ocean Beach

Holiday Reverse Parade

For the first time, the floats in the community’s traditional holiday parade will be stationary while spectators drive past.

The floats will be set up in the Dog Beach parking lot from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, for guests to drive by in order to maintain social distancing.

Santa Claus will make an appearance and there will be a mailbox to drop letters to him.

Guests also can judge the floats and cast ballots for Best Overall, Best Use of Lights, Best OB Spirit, Best Use of Theme (“Home for the Holidays”) and Most Unusual.

Space is limited and reservations are required. The cost is $15 per vehicle for residents of the 92107 ZIP code, $25 for others and $100 for a VIP package that includes early access to the parade at 4:45 p.m., unlimited trips through the parade, two parade swag bags (valued at $15 each) and two holiday shirts.

For reservations, visit

Four days before the parade, Ocean Beach’s holiday tree is scheduled to be placed at the end of Newport Avenue, near the Ocean Beach Pier, on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The tree typically is donated.

OB Food & Toy Drive

The Ocean Beach Town Council’s goal this year is to provide food and gifts for more than 150 local families and senior citizens. The drive continues until Saturday, Dec. 19.

New unwrapped toys can be donated at Union Bank, 1858 Cable St.

To donate for food, visit

Volunteers will gather from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 19 at the Masonic Lodge at 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. to deliver toys and food. To volunteer, go to

Also, a virtual holiday gala is planned for 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, with live and silent auctions, community awards and more. The Town Council website says more information is coming soon.

Crooked Tree Holiday Ale

Crooked Tree Holiday Ale is set for its second year. The special brew was created last year by local brewers. Its name comes from Ocean Beach’s holiday tree, which often leans to one side.

Some proceeds from sales of the brew and commemorative T-shirts go to the Ocean Beach Town Council to help fund its holiday events.

Collaborating brewers this year include OB Brewery, Pizza Port OB, Thorn Brewing, Amplified Ale Works, Killowatt, California Wild Ales, Ketch Brewing, Hodad’s Brewing, Coronado Brewery, Chula Vista Brewery, BSG Craft Brewery and White Labs.

Crooked Tree will be available at OB Brewery at 5041 Newport Ave. and in cans at the Olive Tree Market at 4805 Narragansett Ave. and other Ocean Beach retailers.

Point Loma

Gingerbread City

The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County will present a reimagined Gingerbread City, billed as San Diego’s largest competition for gingerbread structures, as a public drive-through event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at Liberty Station.

Gingerbread City will be a public drive-through event Saturday, Dec. 12, at Liberty Station.
Gingerbread City will be a public drive-through event Saturday, Dec. 12, at Liberty Station.

The 27th annual event, in parking Lot J at 2380 Cushing Road, will include more than 20 gingerbread houses, villages and storybook scenes with the theme “Holidays Around the World.” There also will be music and other entertainment, as well as drive-up concessions.

Tickets start at $25 per vehicle. VIP upgrades include a photo with Santa Claus and a take-home wine and cheese package. Tickets are available at

Liberty Station holiday tree

The annual tree lighting event has been canceled because of the coronavirus, but Liberty Station’s 88-foot Norfolk pine tree has been adorned with lights and oversize ornaments and lights up each evening during the holiday season.

The tree is in the North Promenade, just behind Stone Brewing and Liberty Public Market.

• “Salute the Season” art installations

Liberty Station is bringing holiday-themed art installations to its outdoor North and South promenades, created by Arts District resident artists in partnership with the NTC Foundation.

A dozen installations inspired by “The Twelve Days of Christmas” are available for free public self-guided tours through the holidays.

Those who take a photo of their favorite installation and post to social media using the hashtag #SaluteTheSeason will be entered to win a one-hour Zoom session with Santa Claus.

Menorah lighting

Liberty Station will host a public menorah lighting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Central Promenade to commemorate the first night of Hanukkah.

Liberty Station will host a public menorah lighting Thursday, Dec. 10, to commemorate the first night of Hanukkah.

The festivities, presented in partnership with the Chabads of Downtown San Diego and Pacific Beach, also will include music.

Dinner and a movie

The Pearl Hotel at 1410 Rosecrans St. will offer classic holiday films poolside every Wednesday in December, along with a three-course menu with themed cocktails.

Each event starts at 8 p.m. Tables will be spaced for social distancing.

The lineup:

• Dec. 2: “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

• Dec. 9: “Elf”

• Dec. 16: “A Christmas Story”

• Dec. 23: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”

• Dec. 30: “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Admission is $50 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (619) 226-6100.


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