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What's up for Dec. 8-10: The holiday spirit shines through

What's up for Dec. 8-10: The holiday spirit shines through
Carolers sing at an Old Time Christmas Festival at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach. (Rancho Los Cerritos)

The holiday spirit shines through with parades of lighted boats, old-fashioned Californian and Latin American holiday festivities, and a way to find a furry companion to continue the loving spirit into the new year.

Goleta

The Goleta Christmas Parade will march through Old Town, creating the ambiance of a small town’s old-fashioned holiday, ending with the lighting of a holiday tree.

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When: Dec. 9

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. No dogs permitted. (805) 694-8275, goletachristmas.com

Huntington Beach

More than 75 lighted and decorated watercraft float around the harbor in the 55th annual Huntington Harbour Boat Parade. This year’s theme is “Musical Kicks on Route 66.” Awards are given in 16 categories. You'll find good viewing spots along Seabridge Park and on bridges over the harbor.

When: Dec. 9 and 10

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK. (714) 840-7542, hhboatparade.org

Long Beach

The Community Holiday Festival at the Museum of Latin American Art celebrates the season with live Latin American, mariachi, funk, folk, pop and Caribbean steel-drum holiday tunes in the sculpture garden. Enjoy traditional holiday foods, including champurrado, tamales and pan dulce, and check out the crafts and art workshops.

When: Dec. 10

Cost, info: Free. Family friendly. Only service dogs permitted. (562) 437-1689, molaa.org

Irvine

The 11th Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair is a chance to find your true best friend. More than 30 pet-rescue organizations showcase about 600 homeless cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, rabbits and other small animals to the fair. You can take advantage of onsite low-cost microchipping of your furry buddy and get whatever else you need from pet-supply vendors.

When: Dec. 10

Cost, info: Free but suggested donation of $2 per person or $5 per family. Dogs with current vaccinations permitted on fixed, non-retractable leashes. (949) 724-7740, cityofirvine.org.

Long Beach

The Old Time Christmas Festival at Rancho Los Cerritos shows ways a Southern California family would have celebrated the holidays in the 19th century. Listen to carolers, a brass band, traditional stories and “The Night Before Christmas.” Costumed docents in the house will enlighten with tales about Victorian customs of the season.

When: Dec. 10

Cost, info: $5. Family-friendly. Only service animals permitted. (562) 206-2040, rancholoscerritos.org

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Santa Barbara

Events for the 32nd Harbor Parade of Lights start at Santa’s Village on the city’s pier, where kids can see St. Nick and 10 tons of snow. More than 30 holiday-decorated watercraft will strut their stuff, and festivities will conclude with fireworks. Best places to see the boat parade are along Stearns Wharf and by the harbor’s breakwater.

When: Dec. 10

Cost, info: Free. Family-friendly. Dogs on leash OK if they’re good with crowds. (805) 564-5531, santabarbara.gov

To suggest an event that’s cool and close to home, email travel@latimes.com at least four weeks before the event.

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