Not sure who all these Santas are, but they were strolling down the Embarcadero and turning heads. Perhaps it’s a new fashion craze.
Here comes a batch of photos taken Friday afternoon and early evening at 2013 December Nights. If you haven’t been to Balboa Park’s massive holiday festival, you’re really missing out. Hundreds of thousands of people turn out during the two day event, enjoying colorful lights, decorations, music, Christmas carols, food, entertainment, and just a whole bunch of fun. Every corner of the park is crammed with stuff to see and do. And it seems half of San Diego comes out to experience it all!
Some might recall that December Nights was once called Christmas on the Prado. Fortunately, the event is as joyful, bright, inspirational and heart-warming as ever. And the crowds seem bigger than ever!
Every year during the holiday season you can find this enormous bright red Christmas tree standing right next to the Seaport Village carousel. It’s built entirely of poinsettias! Lots of visitors enjoy posing for photographs beside it!
It must be the holiday season, because the Fantasy on Ice skating rink has been erected in front of Horton Plaza here in downtown San Diego. I got some pics of carefree people gliding through the sunshine. I snapped this photo while standing right next to the NBC building, at Third Avenue and Broadway. You can see the Balboa Theatre in the background.
Wow! Santa returned to San Diego in grand fashion! He’s making his big entrance over the bay using a water jetpack! Here he comes! A huge crowd on the pier just north of Seaport Village was watching with excitement this Saturday afternoon!
Wait! That’s not just a regular, ordinary, everyday daredevil Santa Claus, but the one and only Seaport Village Surfing Santa!
Surfing Santa rises high above the awestruck crowd to wave and wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Where’s his sack of presents?
Now he’s just showing off. The jolly old guy is jetting about in a circle like a certified maniac with a ridiculously huge beard. The fish below are probably frightened out of their wits. The first time I saw Santa, I was a bit spooked, too.
This happy elf and Mrs. Claus patiently awaited old Saint Nick on the pier with a huge throng of onlookers. The reindeer must be taking the weekend off.
Here he is, larger than life! Surfing Santa! He’s boarded the pier and is making his way to Seaport Village to conduct his usual Santa Claus business.
After boarding a pedicab sleigh, Surfing Santa parades down the bayside walkway while people munching pizza look on in joy and disbelief.
Santa Claus and his magical reindeer were recently seen flying through Balboa Park. A photo was snapped as he sped from the central plaza toward the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. There he is waving at happy children and thrilled park visitors!
A second photo was snapped as the reindeer lifted off into the blue San Diego sky, pulling Santa’s sleigh up and away back toward the North Pole!
Old Saint Nick has to prepare for Christmas!
Santa returned the following year! Here he is!
Early this evening, while I walked from work to the trolley station, I spotted this weird but truly wonderful car. I’ve seen it several times in recent months parked in the same area.
As I took out my camera, a man with a green parrot on his shoulder emerged from within and gave a friendly hello. He didn’t mind having photos taken. He claimed pictures of his strange vehicle are all over the internet.
He explained he was homeless. When I asked his name, he replied Peter Pan, followed by numerous other names, all beginning with the letter P.
He was very glad to show off his unique creation!
The roof of the car is topped with numerous bird cages containing angels. The hood features a detailed winter scene with Christmas trees, quaint houses, reindeer and snowmen. On the sides of the car are Christmas ornaments and a variety of snowy scenes from the holiday season, plus images from British literature and classic children’s stories. He pointed out painted pictures of Scrooge and Marley’s office, Mary Poppins with her umbrella, the Baker Street residence of Sherlock Holmes, the Wonkavator from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the flying bed from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He loved pointing out every detail!
He lamented that other homeless people were often mean, tearing off bits of scenery and tossing them over a nearby fence onto the trolley tracks.
I asked Peter Pan if decorating his car was done just for fun, or if he had some larger purpose. He indicated it was his hobby.
I must confess, I love the same classic stories that he loves. Most are joyful fantasies from childhood. (How fitting a bookstore is in this photograph’s background!)
Here’s a close-up pic of the car’s opposite side. The Christmas Imaginarium Carriage appears to be the fantastic vehicle’s name!