Potential safety concerns stemming from construction along Third Avenue have cancelled the city's 50-year tradition of its annual Starlight Parade this year.
In its place, however, the Third Avenue Village Association is debuting its Holiday in the Village event on Dec. 1.
Chula Vista city staff met with association board members last week after monitoring progress for the city’s streetscape revitalization project and came up with an alternative to keep the holiday tradition going.
Chula Vista marketing and communications manager Anne Steinberger said the decision was in no way a reflection on the contractor and added that phase one construction is on budget and on track for completion in early February.
“When it appeared that we couldn’t pull off the parade we let TAVA know and we’re … working with them to make that successful,” Steinberger said.
The alternative provides a pedestrian-friendly event in lieu of the Starlight Parade. However, it allows just five weeks to prepare. Still, event manager Jovita Juarez said she hopes it will still bring 20,000 people to Third Avenue.
Last year’s Starlight Parade brought an estimated 60,000 people to downtown Chula Vista, according to Juarez.
The event will feature costumed carolers, holiday karaoke, handcrafted gifts, local art, an ugly holiday sweater contest, rides and games for kids, local entertainers, musicians and more.
“We’ll have three areas along Third Avenue with music and performers with the main stage in front of Fuddruckers,” Juarez said. “The street will be blocked off from Center to Madrona.”
Mr. and Mrs. Claus will arrive at the park with the San Diego chapter of the Impalas car club for pictures at 1:30 p.m.
The event takes place on the pedestrian Village Plaza adjacent to Memorial Park and along Third Avenue from G to E streets from 12 to 5 p.m. It will conclude with the annual lighting of Third Avenue.
The first phase of the street project totals $5 million with phase one construction beginning from H Street and heading north to Madrona Street. The project aims to reduce traffic lanes, shorten pedestrian crossings, expand sidewalks and enhance street lighting.