Exploring San Diego


El Cajon's Mother Goose parade rings in the holidays for the 72nd time

Posted at 5:13 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-15 20:13:12-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) — For the 72nd year, a massive Mother Goose balloon will mark the start of the holiday season for El Cajon residents.

The Mother Goose parade is billed as the largest parade in San Diego County, held every Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Thousands line Main Street Sunday to watch Santa, marching bands, and more as the parade through town, highlighted by the famous Mother Goose balloon.


World War II veteran Tom Rice, 97, will act as the parade's Grand Marshal — the same parade he enjoyed as a child growing up.

In addition, several celebrity appearances are planned, including TV actors Brandon Russell of "Grey's Anatomy," Colton Shires of "GCB," and Addie Doyle of "Scandal."

Heading to the parade? It kicks off at 1 p.m. at Main St. and El Cajon Blvd.



Phased road closures will be in effect on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Douglas Ave. from El Cajon Blvd. to Claydelle Ave.
  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — El Cajon Blvd. from Johnson Ave. to Main St.
  • 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. — Johnson Ave. from El Cajon Blvd. to Main St.
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Main Street from Johnson Ave. to First St.

Event organizers recommend carpooling to the area, and parking is limited to public parking only. No reserved seats or parking is available.

Parking in an unauthorized space could result in towing.


The parade can be enjoyed anywhere along Main St. and off 1st Ave. Standing in the street will not be permitted.