Pro surfer Machado named Grand Marshal for Encinitas Holiday Parade


The Encinitas Holiday Parade Committee has chosen professional surfer Rob Machado to lead the thousands of people on floats and in bands down Coast Highway 101 as Grand Marshal of the Saturday, Dec. 3 event. A crowd in the tens of thousands is expected for the parade, which has the theme of “Encinitas86!” in honor of the city’s 30th anniversary.

The homegrown superstar — who moved from Australia to Cardiff-by-the-Sea at age 3 — rode the Nixon Watches mega-sized surfboard float in 2015, and this year will cruise down 101 with his wife Sophie, his 15-year-old daughter Rose and 3-year-old son Jax.

“I am super excited to be the Grand Marshal, especially with the ’80s theme,” Machado said in a news release, adding that Christmas in Encinitas is “traditional California.”

Machado said one of his earliest Christmas memories is of the pine tree on Santa Fe Drive having long lights cascading down from the bright white star on top.

Being raised just up the hill from Swami’s, the ocean was never too far from his vision, and he was given his first custom surfboard at age 11. With an easy walk down the hill to Swami’s, Pipes or Dabber’s, Machado was able to hone his skills to become one of the best in the world.

“Each year, the Encinitas Holiday Parade Committee selects one of Encinitas’ own to lead the nearly 100 entries down the parade route,” said longtime committee member Carolyn Roy Cope. “This year, the committee is proud to name Rob as Grand Marshal in recognition to his dedication to the community, his care for the ocean and for being such an influence for positive change in the world around us. Rob has traveled to many of the most amazing places all over the globe and always feels blessed to come home, and to call Encinitas home.”

Following a 5 p.m. tree lighting ceremony and a brief appearance by Santa at the Lumberyard near Starbucks, the 59th Holiday Parade will start rolling down the 101 at 5:30 p.m.

For parade-goers, there will be free parking shuttles running from Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas and the YMCA/Ecke Sports Park parking lot. Both shuttles start running at 4 p.m. and go until 8:30 p.m. The ADA accessible bus runs from the Scripps location. Shuttles run approximately every 20 minutes and will drop off at the NCTD bus station on Vulcan Avenue.

For information, send an email to or call 760-633-2760.

— Submitted press release