Noah Wyle announced as Grand Marshal of this year’s Downtown Holiday Parade

By Raiza Giorgi

Photo by Fritz Olenberger

The holiday season is all about the look of wonder on his children’s faces to Santa Barbara area resident Noah Wyle.

“Seeing the magic of the holidays through their eyes and the genuine possibility of Christmas miracles are what this holiday is all about,” he said in an exclusive interview with Santa Barbara Family and Life Magazine.

Wyle, is an Emmy and Golden Globe nominee who is best known for his award-winning roles as Dr. John Carter in ER and Tom Mason in Falling Skies was named as the Grand Marshal of the 65th annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade. He lives in the Santa Ynez Valley with his wife Sara and two daughters Auden, 12, and Frances, 2. His son Owen attends the Thacher School in Ojai where Wyle also attended.

“I was really honored to be asked to be the Grand Marshal as I have been coming to see this parade for years. Since we are in the beginning we will probably sit at one of my favorite restaurants and watch the rest of the parade come down, it will be a great day,” Wyle said.

The highly anticipated holiday parade steps off promptly at 6:30 pm on Friday December 1, lighting up State Street, and bringing the spirit of the holidays to more than 65,000 spectators. The parade will start at Sola St. and continue down State St. to Cota St. This year’s parade will feature giant balloons, magnificent marching bands, community floats, spectacular performance groups, the Holiday Prince and Fairy, and of course the most anticipated appearance of the season: Santa Claus.

This year’s theme, “Colors of the Season,” is sure to highlight the creativity in the community, as all participating groups vie for coveted trophies and the ultimate “ooh and ahh” factor from the fans.

“We are honored to welcome Noah Wyle to celebrate one of Santa Barbara’s oldest holiday traditions,” shared Maggie Campbell, Executive Director of Downtown Santa Barbara.

Floats will be inspired by vibrant colors, kaleidoscopes, rainbows, and anything festively neon and colorful. The Holiday Prince and Fairy officially kick off and lead the parade down State Street, and have the important task of lighting the Community Christmas Tree, signaling the beginning of the Parade, and the start of the holiday season in Downtown Santa Barbara. In keeping with traditions of the past, Santa still reigns over the entire celebration. He’ll make his appearance at the end of the parade in a huge float for an unforgettable grand finale. This custom built float, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, is sponsored by Marborg Industries. The public can also join Santa prior to the parade, as he greets families in Paseo Nuevo Center Court for “Photos with Santa,” from 4 – 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 1.

“I think a lot of people have a misconception about California during the holidays. I can distinctly feel a shift in the air and all of a sudden people slow down and take in the sights and go out of their way to help others. It really is my favorite time of year,” Wyle said.

Wyle currently executive produces and stars in TNT’s The Librarians, which premieres its fourth season on December 13.

For more information about volunteering for the Holiday Parade, or participation in the Prince & Fairy contest, please contact Jenna Raimist, Marketing & Events Coordinator, at jenna@DowntownSB.org.

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