Grab your mittens and bundle up for one of the peninsula’s favorite holiday traditions! The City of Rolling Hills Estates is hosts its annual Palos Verdes Peninsula Holiday Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Since its inception 21 years ago, the Parade of Lights has delighted residents with decorated cars from local businesses, floats, horse-drawn carriages, local school marching bands and drill teams, classic cars, and even Santa Claus.
This year's grand marshal is Utah Royals and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team star Christen Press. She'll lead the parade along Silver Spur Road and through the Promenade on the Peninsula.
Press joins the ranks of former grand marshals such as tennis star Tracy Austin, former L.A. Dodger infielder Maury Willis, former L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, and the late philanthropist and patron of the Norris Theater, Dick Moe.
After growing up on the peninsula, Press played soccer at Stanford University where she became the school’s all-time leading scorer with 71 goals. She later went on to play professionally in Sweden, before returning stateside in 2014.
Since 2012, she has been on the roster for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team every year, and in 2015 her team became World Champions at the FIFA World Cup Games.
“I’m so excited to return home for the holidays and be a part of this awesome tradition" said Press. "I've been going to the parade for years and it is a huge honor to be named grand marshal. I am so excited to join in on the fun and look forward to seeing everyone at the event."
Also being honored at the event is Citizen Grand Marshal and 2018’s Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, Diana Heffernan Schrader. Schrader, founder of Palos Verdes School Gardens, is dedicated to teaching children (and people of all ages) about gardening and nutrition in fun, hands-on, and delicious ways.
Spectators will find free parking at the Town & Country Center, Promenade on the Peninsula Mall, Peninsula Shopping Center and Peninsula High School.
Bleacher and sidewalk seating is available near the announcer’s booth in front of the PV Library, or you can set-up your own seating along the parade route.
Veteran co-hosts of the event Michele Swanson, Brenda Barnes, and Mike Whitehead are resuming their roles this year, and those who have to miss the festivities in person will be able to watch on Frontier FiOS channel 39 and Cox Cable TV channel 35.
At the end of the parade, professional judges will announce the winning floats.
For more information, contact Andy Clark, RHE Community Services Director, at (310) 377- 1577, ext. 109 or AndyC@RollingHillsEstatesCA.gov.
—submitted by Alexa Davis