Balboa prepares for weekend holiday celebration

December Nights preview

Faith Orcino, Arts & Entertainment Editor


Organizers of Balboa December Nights will be hosting the 38th annual event in early December.

From 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 4 and from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 5, the whole park will be transformed into a holiday festival where attendees can enjoy the various part of the area while also checking out unique vendors that will be setting up shop.

One of the most popular offers that the event offers is free access to the museums from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Do take note that the Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, S.D. Automotive Museum, S.D. Model Railroad Museum and S.D. Museum of Art will be closed in the daytime in order to prepare for the evening crowd. A number of special exhibits will also be closed to the public. Both the Veterans Museum and Botanical Building will also be closed in the evening.

Both days have different scheduled events, including performances from local groups. The events will take place at the Organ Pavilion, Botanical Garden, Palisades Stage and at several of the museums. The opening night ceremony will be at 6 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Organ Pavilion between musical performances. Song and dance will fill the park with appearances from the S.D. Harmony Ringers, 32nd St. Brass, La Jolla Renaissance Singers and many others. Portions of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” will be put on by the S.D. Civic Youth Ballet in the Casa del Prado Theater each day at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.

For those interested in attending the festivities, it is highly recommended to arrive early to get good parking and/or carpool. There will be very limited free and paid parking. The I-163, especially southbound, will become a traffic jam during the December Nights, so it would be best to plan alternative routes. Organizers have shuttles that will transport guests from a pick-up site at 6th Street and Laurel Street, but will not have one available going to and from Petco Park like previous years. For more information on travel and schedule, visit

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California