Neighborhood Tradition

El Cajon Boulevard has a long history with parades. The relationship goes back to Saturday, October 16, 1937, when Governor Frank Merriam lead a parade sponsored by the then El Cajon Boulevard Civic Association from Park Boulevard to Euclid Avenue. The longest parade on El Cajon Boulevard, historic route Highway 80, took place in May, 1949. It was seven miles long, from Park Boulevard to the La Mesa City limits. Western film and rodeo star Hoot Gibson served as the Honorary Marshal.

In 1931, San Diego State College moved to "Montezuma Mesa" and began to celebrate Homecoming every fall. The SDSC parades began in 1940, and were held most years through 1967, taking place at the westerly end of El Cajon Boulevard. In the early 1960s the Homecoming Parade was moved to Montezuma Road, closer to the State campus.

The College Area Business District and the College Neighborhoods Foundation spearheaded the dynamic return of the long-awaited parade in 2005. The Boulevard BOO! Parade, with a Halloween theme, is a smash hit for all ages as it travels along El Cajon Boulevard through the heart of the College neighborhoods. The rebirth of this tradition has excited and inspired community residents, businesses, and SDSU. It has become a favored annual event.

The parade is held on El Cajon Blvd between 59th St. and Aragon Dr. The BOO! Parade today has a new direction and no longer includes a carnival. The BOO! Parade this year is expected to be bigger and better than ever with all eyes on the College Area. Professional parade producers, Upbeat Parade Productions, have been contracted out of San Jose to bring BOO! up to the next level. Be aware, venture there if you dare! If you'd like to join us in fiendish and ghoulish fashion, celebrating our community with spirit and pride then sign up to be a BOO! Participant or Volunteer.

Participating in The Boulevard BOO! Parade will be such a scream. We hope that you join us in what has become a highly anticipated College Area annual event.

Meet the Characters

MR. BOO!: Mr. BOO! has always loved a good time! As the owner of Mr. BOO!'s Pub & Grill he has met people from all walks of life. His favorite hobby is leading the Boulevard BOO! Parade every year as the Drum Major. To keep his svelte physique, he works out with the crew at Old School Boxing and eats a healthy fruit bowl at San Diego Blenders. Nobody is perfect, including the guy with the ultimate body! When he is in the mood to cheat, he heads over to San Diego Desserts for a delectable sweet treat.

FRANKIE STEINBERG: Frankie lives in Rolando and graduated from Blessed Sacrament Parish School, and later SDSU with a degree in Electrical Engineering. An uber techie, Frankie satisfies both his need to stay connected to his friends on Facebook and his sweet tooth by hanging out at San Diego Desserts. Most mornings he is there, typing away on his laptop and munching on a Chocolate Croissant. Being a night owl he enjoys meeting up with his mummy friend, Bob Damask, at Effin's Pub after a long day in the lab.

BOB DAMASK: Feeling tied down at Featheringill Mortuary, Bob, wanting to feel the wind in his linens, broke free of his sarcophagus (now that turned a few heads) and set off to become an aspiring tango dancer! To hone is dancing skills he takes ballet, modern and jazz classes at MIX. He likes to unwind at the Lucky Lady Casino playing Texas Hold'Em. Bob used to jog with the SDSU track and field team but kept tripping. Frankie suggested he visit Zumwalt's Bike Shop, and now he is often seen racing down the Boulevard.

GILDA GHOUL: Growing up in El Cerrito, Gilda remembers when the neon majorette was erected in 1947 and used to enjoy movies at the Campus Drive in Theater. Her favorite movie is, "Yellow Submarine". Now, she still haunts the Campus Plaza Shopping Center, enjoying, Woodstock Pizza and Garden Fresh Grill & Smoothie. During the summer she loves to work on her tan at Windmill Farms — the windmill is the perfect spot to relax in the sun!

Media Resources

  • Press Release
  • NBC 7/39 (2010)

  • (2012)

  • The Daily Aztec

    October 31 2005

    "Hopefully, it [SDSU parade involvement] will make them [little kids] aware of what San Diego State students do for the community around them, as well as keep their hopes up in looking at the college of San Diego State as the college they want to go to."

    - 2005 Homecoming King Crissly Cristomo
  • San Diego Union Tribune

    October 30 2005

    "A lot of us have been waiting for something like this to give our community a little more identity"

    - El Cerrito Resident LeeAnn Mott, who walked to the parade with her 7 year old daughter, Olivia
  • 2013 Sponsorship Accolades

    "This is a great event for our community; it's exciting to be a part of the Boulevard BOO! Parade & Carnival!"

    - Blessed Sacrament Parish School (Sponsor 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • "I can't think of a better way of giving back to the community that supports the Campus Plaza Center!"

    - Campus Plaza Shopping Center, Sponsor and College Area Business (Sponsor 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Participant Accolades

    "The Technology Center and Store continue to flourish at the San Diego Center for the Blind as a result of our participation in the BOO! Parade. Our White Cane Brigade Marchers highlight our vision rehabilitation program and demonstrate the independence of our clients. Thanks BOO! Parade."

    - San Diego Center for the Blind
  • "Marching in the BOO! Parade lets our students share their excitement for fitness and boxing. The World and National Champions that ride along with us provide positive role models from the boxing world to the kids along the route and to the community. Thanks BOO! Parade!"

    - Old School Boxing & Fitness, Participant