G’Day for Ocean Beach Holiday Parade: Draws International Cast of Characters, Spectators

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Santa Claus (Marcus Turner) rode atop a lifeguard float, bringing up the rear of OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stone

By Ken Stone

Updated at 11:20 a.m. Dec. 5, 2017

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The family Favelle — Anthony and Caroline with son Lincoln — flew in from Australia two days earlier.

Addie Gomes goes to kiss her 2-year-old elf, Paxton Thomas, held by Ian Thomas. Paxton was part of the Cornerstone parade unit. Photo by Ken Stone

Jeff-Free, a retired contractor playing his harmonica on a blanket by the beach, was visiting from tiny Schoharie, New York.

Steve and Kelly Agius of Ontario, Canada — vendors “chasing the sun” — sold hippie goods, including sage, under the Gypsy Halos brand.

Who says the OB Holiday Parade is just a local affair?

Expected to draw 2,500 people, the 38th annual parade actually had a crowd estimated at 6,000, according to a spokesman for the organizing Ocean Beach Town Council. The event’s theme “California Dreamin’ in the Season of Love.” A full moon watched from the northeast as temperatures hovered in the comfy upper 60s.

“Something magical about this” place, said the 58-year-old going by Jeff-Free, with his father’s accordion and an ukulele resting nearby.

“I’m trying to spread the love,” he said between tunes on his harmonica. “When you give it out, you get it back.”
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The Favelles were staying at the Hi San Diego Point Loma hostel. Later, they’d be heading for Seattle and then Montana.

One hundred units (the maximum) in a 90-minute parade proceeded west on Newport Avenue toward yet another leaning OB Holiday Tree (but this year’s version tilted right, not left, as viewed from town).

At the Ocean Beach Hotel — across from the beach — balconies of the three-story landmark were filled with revelers. Even before the event began, renters were making reservations for the 2018 parade.

Spectators savor the atmosphere at the Ocean Beach holiday parade. Photo by Chris Stone

The usual civic lights made an appearance — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Shelley Zimmerman in her last OB parade as police chief, Assemblyman Todd Gloria, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf.

San Diego County sheriff candidate Dave Myers, a Democrat, walked. So did Marcia Nordstrom, a Republican hopeful for the county Board of Supervisors.

But the real stars were the Obeceans — driving woodies and DeLoreans, playing in rock bands aboard floats, marching as Republicans or Democrats or promoting causes (clean climate, no Target in OB, expand the OB library).

Seven or eight Ocean Beach Town Council volunteers did announcing duties at intervals along the parade route. About 60 people volunteered at the parade.

Santa Claus — OB Town Council Vice President Marcus Turner with a black beard and kids in tow — rode atop a final float, courtesy of San Diego lifeguards, leaving hundreds to find their way back to cars or warm and well-lit bars.

Newport Avenue was cleared and spectators found spots along the parade route. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Two Santa fans get ready along the parade route in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Surf is up in the Ocean Beach annual holiday parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Boys riding bicycles decorated with colored lights travel down Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Councilwoman Lorie Zapf was among the officials who joined the Ocean Beach parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer waves to the crowds along the Ocean Beach parade route. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Two young girls visit with a dog in its holiday best before the Ocean Beach parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A little girl gets cozy along the parade route in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Two children wave from a float going down Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
People with lit up hula hoops entertain the crowds along the parade route in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A child enjoys his ride down Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach during the parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
OB Pause's colorful airplane float passes by the OB Christmas tree. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Spiderman and Santa's helper travel down Newport Avenue on a Harley Davidson. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Alan James creates giant bubbles to the delight of the crowd along Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A young girl drives a small car for SoCal Racers Against Drugs. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A man in a Yeti costume entertains the crowd in Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Spectators savor the atmosphere at the Ocean Beach holiday parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Women perform in the Sleighin Alive float in the Ocean Beach parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Ocean Beach parade spectators wore a variety of holiday hats and clothing. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Spectators after the OB Holiday Parade were still in festive spirit. Photo by Ken Stonemore
San Diego Fire-Rescue Department family members rode in an engine near the end. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Spectators, including the littlest, hung in there till the end of the 90-minute OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Mermaids (and merman) rode a float in the OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Children dance on Newport Avenue as OB Holiday Parade passes by. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Hula hoops and high-steppers entertain thousands at OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
A float notes California 12, prison inmates regarded by the California Innocence Project as not guilty. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Children pack a float in OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Bubble-shooting parader excited children along the Newport Avenue route. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Wildly painted van urged expansion of the Ocean Beach Library. Photo by Ken Stonemore
A member of the Point Loma Republican Women Federated showed the colors. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Sidewalk in front of The Holding Company concert venue was crowded with parade-watchers. Photo by Ken Stonemore
From left, Australian visitors Anthony, Lincoln and Caroline Favelle enjoyed the parade with Sherry Stone (front) and fellow antler-wearer Mimi McPherson. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Former Utah residents (now Obecians) Sharon and Chris Hoopiiaina showed their OB pride at the Christmas tree. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Sunset heralds the beginning of the OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Living out of their 1989 Dodge van camper, Steve and Kelly Agius of Ontario, Canada, sold sage and other items. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Steve and Kelly Agius of Ontario, Canada, sold sage and other items under the Gypsy Halos brand. Photo by Ken Stonemore
The Ocean Beach Hotel was decked out for the holidays. Photo by Ken Stonemore
A toy fox terrier got TLC and plenty of attention along the parade route. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Youngsters helped sell mistletoe along Newport Avenue before the OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Skateboards helped family members get to the parade for a prime viewing location. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Red-jacketed Elite security workers were omnipresent at the OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Kentucky Gallahue of Point Loma brought his Goldendoodle Derby, a surf dog, to the OB Holiday Parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Daremo, 48, with his pitbull-corgi mix (perhaps) Rocco shared a public-health message near the beach, awaiting the parade. Photo by Ken Stonemore
JJH Construction's float was accompanied by a well-suited gentleman. Photo by Ken Stonemore
The head of the Target dog was atop a float opposing a store in Ocean Beach. Photo by Ken Stonemore
OB Town Council announcers (from left) Melyssa "Mel" Roark, Keith Fink and Trudy Levinson operated from USA Hostels near the Happy OB Holidays sign. Photo by Ken Stonemore
OB Pause float featured a peace-loving airplane. Photo by Ken Stonemore
Parade participants dressed as bees for the San Diego Honey Company. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A man wearing leotards and vines provides local color in the parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
Young Girl Scouts hold hands as they march in the Ocean Beach holiday parade. Photo by Chris Stonemore
A young girl shows her delight as the Ocean Beach holiday parade passes. Photo by Chris Stonemore
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