Robert Arends

Mother Goose Parade Kicks off San Diego for the Holidays!

Horse Drawn Carriage - Mother Goose Parade

Giant Mother Goose balloon!

There’s no better way to make some merry this holiday season than to head to San Diego’s East County for the 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade this Sunday, November 18 in El Cajon.

Since 1947, the Mother Goose Parade has delighted families with its whimsical floats, marching bands, drill units, clowns, equestrians (including miniature horses!), giant helium balloons, dancers, classic cars and of course, Mother Goose!

Giddyup to the Mother Goose Parade!

Two miles long, and with an estimate attendance of over 250,000 people, it’s the largest parade in San Diego County! Festivities begin at 10:00 AM with the parade route going from Magnolia and Main Streets in downtown El Cajon, ending at Madison.

In celebration of El Cajon’s big Centennial bash, this year’s Grand Marshal is the city’s Mayor Mark Lewis.

Goose Float at the Mother Goose Parade in San Diego's East County

El Cajon’s Mother Goose Parade!

Afterward, kids can get their play on at Mother Goose Village (located at the Prescott Promenade; open until 3:00 PM), featuring a rock wall for climbing, bounce house and yummy food vendors!

Mother Goose Parade Information

Location: Begin at Magnolia and Main, head down Main St. to N. Second Street, turn North then end at Madison.
Date: November 18, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Parade starts at 10:00 AM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade

Mother Goose Parade Trivia Time…

For decades, celebrities have joined in the fun of the Mother Goose Parade as Grand Marshals.

Which ONE of the following was NOT a Grand Marshal:

  • Erik Estrada (“Chips”)
  • Bugs Bunny
  • John Schneider (“Dukes of Hazard” and “Smallville”)
  • Mario Lopez (“Saved by the Bell” and “Extra” TV)
  • Katharine McPhee (“Smash” and “American Idol”)
  • George Takei (“Star Trek”)
  • Mickey Mouse

{Drum roll}… the answer is George Takei. This original Trekkie was never a Grand Marshal at the Mother Goose Parade. But there’s always next year! 😉

Happy holidays everyone!

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Sparkling East County Holiday Delights!

Skiers at the Viejas Outdoor Skating Rink
Skiers at the Viejas Outdoor Skating Rink in San Diego's East County

SoCal’s largest outdoor ice skating rink at Viejas!

OK, I know it’s only a few days after Halloween and Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, but the winter holidays will be here before you know it!

So gather up the family, grab your gift list, Santa hat and mittens (yep, there’s a 55 degree chill her in the air at night – brrrr! 😉 ) and join me on a jolly jaunt to San Diego’s charming East County communities. They really know how to make some merry.

Following are 5 to Try East County Holiday Delights:

1. 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade

Goose Float at the Mother Goose Parade in San Diego's East County

El Cajon’s Mother Goose Parade!

The colorful Mother Goose Parade in El Cajon is San Diego’s traditional holiday kick-off, featuring thousands of spectators, colorful floats, marching bands, equestrians and celebrity appearances – fun for the whole family!

Location: Begin at Magnolia and Main, head down Main St. to N. Second Street, turn North then end at Madison.
Date: November 18, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Parade starts at 10:00 AM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 66th Annual Mother Goose Parade

2. Julian’s Country Christmas Celebration & Tree Lighting

Julian Country Christmas & Tree Lighting.

The historic, Norman Rockwell-esque mountain town of Julian kicks off the holidays with a Country Christmas celebration & Tree Lighting, complete with costumed carolers, Santa Claus and, of course, their famous apple pies and piping hot apple cider!

Location: Julian’s Pioneer Park (map)
Date: November 24, 2012
Time: Starts at 4:00 PM. Lighting around 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Julian’s Country Christmas Celebration & Tree Lighting

3. Santa Train North Pole Limited

Santa on the North Pole Limited

Make tracks for the Santa Train North Pole Limited!

All aboard the Santa Train North Pole Limited, a Christmas vintage train ride through our rustic backcountry, departing from the Campo Depot. The adventure features Santa and his elves, cookies and hot cocoa, plus a reading of the famous holiday story, The Polar Express. Reserve seats now for this sell-out holiday favorite!

Location: State Highway 94 & Forrest Gate Road, Campo, CA (map)
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, November 23 – December 22
Times: Trains at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM (depending on the date)
Cost: $20-$50, Toddlers under 2 are free
> Find out more about Santa Train North Pole Limited

4. Ice Skating at the Viejas Outlet Center

Ice Skaters at the Viejas Outlet Center in San Diego's East County

There’s plenty of room at the largest outdoor skating rink in Southern California.

The Peanuts Christmas special always comes to mind at the Viejas Outlet Center, home of the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Southern California!

Location: 5005 Willows Rd Suite 229, Alpine, CA 91901 (map)
Dates: November 16 – January 6, 2012
Time: TBD
Cost: TBD
> Find out more about Ice Skating at the Viejas Outlet Center 

5. Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival

Santa Claus at the Alpine Christmas Parade!

The quaint town of Alpine kicks off the season with its Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Snow Festival, featuring a parade, Santa and his elves, caroling and a big snow mountain for sledding. Snow in San Diego… who knew?!

Location: 1347 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA (map)
Date: December 7, 2012
Time: Starts at 6:30 PM
> Find out more about the Alpine Village Christmas Parade of Lights & Festival

A hearty happy (early) “Ho ho ho” from San Diego! 🙂 Know of any other great East County Holiday events? Let us and other’s know in the comments below.