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Rock 'n' Retro Holidays in Downtown San Luis Obispo!


September 30, 2022


FROM: Rachel Lackmann
Marketing & Communications Coordinator


2022 Downtown SLO Holiday Happenings Announced

San Luis Obispo, CA — Classic cars, shining stars, and electric guitars — cruise on over to downtown San Luis Obispo this holiday season for a nostalgic, rockin’ good time!

Downtown SLO, in partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo, is delighted to announce that the theme of the 2022 Holiday Happenings is “Rock ‘n’ Retro!” This year, treasured community traditions will continue, and brand-new activations will make the holiday experience bigger and brighter!

46TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARADE presented by American Riviera Bank
Friday, December 2, 2022, from 7–9 PM

The Annual Downtown SLO Holiday Parade returns for its 46th year! This beloved Central Coast holiday tradition will feature over 80 decorated floats, marching bands, vehicles, dancers, and more, representing all kinds of organizations. The Downtown SLO Holiday Parade is one of the largest parades on the Central Coast, attracting thousands of spectators.

Applications will be open from October 1–November 1, 2022. Please note that participation is limited. Apply at

Leading the 2022 Holiday Parade will be Grand Marshal Carl Dudley. Recently retired from Pacific Western Bank, Carl has served on the Board of Directors of Downtown SLO, KCBX, the SLO Symphony, and United Way, and is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

The 46th Annual Holiday Parade is sponsored by: Astound Broadband, SLO Credit Union, Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, Guaranteed Rate, Injectors Direct, Wilde Wealth Management, Friday Night Lights Flag Football, Sunset Honda, Meathead Movers, and ASAP Movers

THE HOLIDAY PLAZA presented by The San Luis Obispo Collection
In partnership with the City of San Luis Obispo
Opens Friday, November 25, 2022, at 12:00 PM

Mission Plaza is the centerpiece of downtown San Luis Obispo — it all happens here! The 20-foot Holiday Tree (sponsored by Dignity Health) will be lit in an official ceremony on Friday, November 25, 2022, at 5:45 PM. The Plaza will also feature many show-stopping photo opportunities, including a dazzling walk-through ornament, 6-foot-tall sparkly SLO letters, a lighted tree forest, animated light tunnels, and larger-than-life decorations. These stunning lights will synchronize with music as part of the brand-new Musical Light Show (sponsored by PG&E & Lola & Ivy), which will occur nearly every evening in the Plaza.

Join Downtown SLO on Friday, November 25, 2022, at noon to watch Santa ride into Mission Plaza on a firetruck, enjoy a live performance from the SLO County Band, and celebrate the opening of all the fun in the Holiday Plaza.

SANTA’S HOUSE sponsored by American Riviera Bank
Friday, November 25, 2022 – Saturday, December 24, 2022

A beloved tradition, Santa’s House returns to the Plaza. Young visitors can recite their holiday wish list and pose for photos with Santa out on his front lawn before entering the house to purchase their souvenir photo package and receive free goodies!

LETTERS TO SANTA sponsored by Tenet Health Central Coast

Kids can send their letters to Santa using the mailbox in front of Santa’s House and receive a hand-written response!

In partnership with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum

Children can grab a free booklet and follow clever clues to different storefront locations, each containing a miniature scene with clues about the mouse’s whereabouts. Upon completion, families can enter to win a membership to the Children’s Museum.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Downtown SLO invites the community to keep their dollars local this holiday season and support local businesses when shopping for gifts. Downtown SLO offers holiday shopping opportunities unlike any other, with a diverse line-up of small merchants. Shoppers can find a complete directory of small businesses downtown at


This December, downtown businesses will enliven the streets with their creative Rock ‘n’ Retro-inspired window displays. An online map will be published with a list of participating businesses. Visitors will be able to scan the QR code in their favorite window to cast their vote for People’s Choice.


There are only a few more sponsorship opportunities left for the 2022 holiday season — spread cheer to hundreds of thousands of locals and visitors!

There are plenty of chances to volunteer at the Holiday Parade and Santa’s House this season — subscribe to the weekly Deliver-E newsletter to be notified of opportunities.

For more information on Downtown SLO Holiday Happenings, please visit, follow @DowntownSLO on Instagram, and like @ExperienceDowntownSLO on Facebook.

Thank you to media sponsors KSBY, New Times, and American General Media.

A media kit for the 2022 Holiday Happenings is available here. Please contact Rachel Lackmann, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, for additional materials and information:

About Downtown SLO: Downtown SLO is a 501 (c)(6) nonprofit founded in 1975 whose mission is to foster an economically vibrant Downtown. Downtown SLO serves the community by working on initiatives like parking and beautification efforts, coordinating special events and the weekly Farmers’ Market, supporting economic activities, and examining Downtown issues.