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One of the most popular holiday parades on the Central Coast returns 'bigger and brighter than ever'

Stephen Heraldo
Downtown SLO's Annual Holiday Parade returns on Friday December 2, 2022

The Annual Downtown San Luis Obispo Holiday Parade returns for the 46th year and this time…with a rock and retro theme.

Classic cars, shining stars, and electric guitars — downtown San Luis Obispo is planning a nostalgic, rockin’ good time this holiday season.

The theme of the 2022 Holiday Happenings is “Rock ‘n’ Retro!”

This year, treasured community traditions will continue, and brand-new elements will make the holiday experience bigger and brighter, according to Bettina Swigger. She's the Chief Executive Officer of Downtown SLO which partners with the city to organize the festivities.

"It's a cherished tradition. We decided we would do things better, brighter and bolder," she said.

A new hourly light show has been added to the festivities, and Swigger says this year's theme of rock and retro holidays is really "flexing people's creative muscles."

The Central Coast holiday tradition will feature 88 decorated floats, marching bands, vehicles, dancers, and more, representing all kinds of organizations. It's one of the largest parades on the Central Coast, attracting thousands of spectators.

The 46th Annual Downtown SLO Holiday Parade takes place on Friday, December 2, from 7–9 p.m.

A map of the parade route, announcers, restrooms, and parking can be found at

The Downtown SLO organization encourages guests to carpool, walk, or ride their bikes to the parade, as parking is limited. Free bike valet will be available at Mission Plaza.

Parade watchers can expect street-side viewing, first-come-first-served. Those who plan to save spots should not leave chairs, blankets or items unattended.

Please note that roads will close at 4 p.m. on December 2. A map of road closures with more information can be found here; only downtown residents with barricade passes may enter the route.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.