Holiday fun in Downtown Oakland

Holiday fun in Downtown Oakland

The Berenstain Bears are the grand marshals of the sixth annual Oakland Tribune Holiday Parade, which marches through the streets of downtown Oakland beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

This popular holiday event attracted 50,000 spectators to downtown Oakland last year. Don't get caught in parade traffic-take BART! Exit at Oakland City Center/12th Street and you'll be right in the middle of the action.

This year's parade features Scooby Doo, one of the world's most popular and beloved dogs, as well as countless children's favorite characters, 13 giant balloons, 12 colorful floats, and Santa Claus himself.

The parade, which expects to draw some 4,000 participants, begins at 11th and Broadway, winding through downtown Oakland following Broadway, 20th Street and Harrison Street before finishing near Lake Merritt.

Parade highlights include:

  • Children's storybook and cartoon characters Hello Kitty, Madeline, Strawberry Shortcake, Curious George, and Six Flags stars Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Tazmanian Devil.
  • Thirteen 30'-50' inflatable balloons hovering along the one-mile parade route, including Nia the Angel of Color, Twinkles the Snowman and the famous Chipmunks - Alvin, Simon and Theodore
  • A 25-member clown brigade consisting of local business executives
  • A number of beautiful floats

The Oakland Tribune Holiday Parade is also a holiday championship for the marching band circuit, sanctioned by the Northern California Band Association. Fourteen marching bands will participate, including the Fairfield Scarlet Brigade with almost 200 members, Napa High School, Oakland's Skyline High School, the California Consolidated Drum Band of San Francisco, Vallejo Middle School, Reno (Nevada) High School, and Encinal High School of Alameda.

The parade truly is a national event, with parade items and entries coming in from New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The parade benefits two important local resources, the foundations of Children's Hospital & Research Center at Oakland and of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, visit or call the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce at (510) 874-4800. To plan your BART ride, use's handy online QuickPlanner.