Four Christmas Traditions
New or Old to Long Beach, These are Must-Hits!
Belmont Shore Christmas Parade “Your Holidays Start on 2nd.” Take this year’s Belmont Shore Christmas Parade theme to heart by heading down to 2nd Street on Saturday, December 7 to kick off this holiday season. From 6-9 pm, Belmont Shore hosts one of Long Beach’s favorite holiday traditions for the 37th year. It’s the perfect way to demonstrate Long Beach’s “small town feel.” Marching bands from the neighborhood schools playing holiday carols and rousing fight songs. Representatives from all sorts of local civic groups, big and small, traveling on floats or by foot, and waving to onlookers who sit or stand. And of course there is always the ceremonial finish, with Santa Claus riding in on the big red firetruck. Beverly O’Neill, former mayor of Long Beach, is this year’s Grand Marshal. Make sure to get to 2nd Street early because the sidewalks fill up fast!
The Portraits of the Prince of Peace Pageant Each year, the Wardlow Road church community comes together to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Six Long Beach churches located on Wardlow Road near Bellflower Boulevard present the 47th Annual Portraits of the Prince of Peace Pageant. The event, to be held nightly from 7:30 to 9 pm on December 13th, 14th, and 15th, features “live portraits” depicting the chronology of the birth of Jesus Christ. Volunteers from Neighborhood Church, St. Luke’s Lutheran, University Baptist, St. Cornelius Catholic, Long Beach Christian Reformed and Calvary Chapel of Long Beach pose motionless in 22 different biblical scenes in front of the churches. The candle-lit journey begins at the corner of Bellflower and Wardlow Road near St. Cornelius and continues on the south side of Wardlow to San Anseline, where the Neighborhood Church is located. Walk west along Wardlow to St. Luke’s and the Long Beach Christian Reformed Church, leading to additional biblical scenes with real actors and live animals. The pageant is open to the public and everyone is welcome free of charge.
Naples Island Boat Parade The Naples Island Boat Parade is a holiday tradition that dates back to 1946. Now in its 73rd year, the 2019 parade will be held on Saturday, December 14 at 6 pm. Featuring the theme, “Christmas under the Sea,” boats will light up the water, while spectators line the Naples Canals and outer walks to enjoy the amazing holiday display. Boats are judged on accordance with the theme, lighting, music, costumes, and originality. All large boats will assemble along Lido Lane in front of Naples Plaza to be judged before the parade, while small boats will embark in Marine Stadium and be judged along the Rivo Alto Canal. Streets along the islands will close at 5 pm so be sure to get there early to get a good spot. Bring a chair and a cooler to maximize your viewing experience. Boats must have official parade numbers to participate in the Naples Boat Parade so if you’d like to join, the skipper’s meeting is Wednesday, December 11 starting 7 pm at the Long Beach Yacht Club.
The Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade In 1953, Gertrude Whittle persuaded Long Beach City Council to decorate Daisy Avenue with a Christmas Village and Nativity Scene. Thus, a Christmas Tree Lane Parade was born. The 66th Annual Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade is on Saturday December 14 from 5 to 8 pm. On Daisy Avenue between Hill Street and Pacific Coast Highway, residents decorate their homes as the median is lined with Christmas displays for this unique community event. In 1988, Maria Norvell and the Wrigley Association began their efforts to revitalize the parade and Daisy Lane decorations. These days, the parade not only receives support from the City of Long Beach, but also from its numerous sponsors. If you’re looking to be a part of the Daisy Avenue Christmas Tree Lane Parade legacy by participating, volunteering, or donating, visit LongBeach.gov/district7. Float applications are due by Wednesday, November 27 if you wish to be included in the final lineup. Confirmations will be sent to all participants the first week of December notifying participants of their check-in location and time. 908