Short on funds, holiday parade will go on in CV

Children passed out treats during last year’s Starlight Parade in Chula Vista. This year organizers reached out to the public for donations in funding an event they describe as for the children of the city. (Photo by Steve Wood)

Downtown Chula Vista will kick off the holidays with a Children’s Faire on Saturday, Dec.1, followed by the annual Starlight Parade.

The Children’s Faire runs from 2 to 5 p.m. and features Frosty’s Snow Hill which will be located in Memorial Park, 373 Park Way.

Other children-related activities include photos with Santa, a children’s train, Elf Yourself station, facepainting, and a first responder park where kids can meet first responders and participate in public safety-related activities.

At the conclusion of the Children’s Faire will be the Starlight Parade starting at 6 p.m. between H and E Streets.

“It’s about children,” said Councilwoman Pat Aguilar about the parade. “I always call it the city’s gift to the children. It’s my way of giving back to the children of the city.”

The parade’s theme for this year is public safety, and it will have Chula Vista Fire Chief Jim Geering and Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy serve as grand marshals.

More than 125 entrants from festive floats to marching bands to dance teams to classic cars will be on hand for the parade.

Aguilar, along with Councilman Mike Diaz, joined forces to raise from $90,000 to $95,000 for operational costs and the cost of security.

“It costs money to run it,” Diaz said. “A big chunk of the money is for security.”

Part of the fundraising aspects included a GoFundMe page established by Diaz and Aguilar.

“Although we are fortunate to have corporate sponsors to help cover the lion’s share of costs for this event, we don’t think we will be able to achieve our goal this year without some help from the community,” the GoFundMe page says.

The GoFundMe Page was established two months ago with a goal of raising $15,000. As of Tuesday afternoon, 23 donations were made to the GoFundMe page totaling $1,005.

Although, the GoFundMe page has not reached its $15,000 goal as of Tuesday afternoon, Aguilar said the parade will still move forward thanks to corporate sponsors such as San Diego Gas & Electric which donated $5,000.

“It’s a labor of love,” she said. “There’s just something about the Christmas spirit of giving that is very important for our society.” Both events are free to the public.

A representative for the Third Avenue Village Association said they will not be hosting their Holiday in the Village event since the city of Chula Vista will be using Memorial Park for their Children’s Faire.

Short on funds, holiday parade will go on in CV