It’s that time of year again, folks! Time to invite your besties to one of the Bay Area’s many lighted boat parades. Whether you’re watching from the clubhouse or you manage to string up some lights and join in, these parades are a delightful — if chilly — way to ring in the holiday season.
The bulk of this year’s parades run this weekend, and tomorrow’s forecast is looking anything but delightful. Hopefully the predictions of morning rain and high winds, easing in the afternoon, hold true. Sunday will be clear and cold, so pack up some extra mittens and rum to keep your crew warm (skippers should enjoy virgin toddies till the boat’s safely back at the dock!).
Here’s a list of all the Bay Area lighted boat parades we know about. If you know of one not listed, shoot LaDonna an email and it’ll be added right away.
- December 7 — 37th Annual Lighted Yacht Parade on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Presented by Encinal YC, Oakland YC and Marina Village Yacht Harbor. This year’s theme is ‘Global Holidays’. Find out more and enter your boat at www.lightedyachtparade.com.
- December 7 — Stockton SC Lighted Boat Parade. Info, www.stocktonsc.org.
- December 7 — Santa Cruz YC Lighted Boat Parade in the south harbor, 5:30 p.m. Info, www.scyc.org.
- December 7 — Vallejo YC Harbor Lighted Boat Parade. Info, www.vyc.com or (707) 643-1254.
- December 7 — Petaluma Lighted Boat Parade from Petaluma Marina through the D Street Bridge to the Petaluma city dock. Starts at 6 p.m. Info, www.petalumayachtclub.com.
- December 8 — Monterey Peninsula YC Lighted Boat Parade, 5:30 p.m. Info, www.mpyc.org.
- December 8 — San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade, 5 p.m. Info, www.marinyachtclub.com.
- December 13 — St. Francis YC Lighted Boat Parade, from Pier 39 to Ft. Mason, 6 p.m. Info, www.stfyc.com.
- December 14 — This isn’t a lighted boat parade but is a fun holiday celebration at Hyde St. Pier with live music, activities and a visit from the Big Guy himself, 3-4:45 p.m. Kids under 16 free, adults $5. Tour historic vessels from 6-9 p.m. Free, RSVP required. Info, (415) 447-5000.
- December 14 — Sausalito Lighted Yacht Parade along the waterfront, 6 p.m. Info, www.sausalitoyachtclub.org.
- December 14 — Benicia Marina & YC Lighted Boat Parade, 6 p.m. Info, www.beniciayachtclub.com.
- December 20 — Sequoia YC Lighted Boat Parade in the Redwood City Harbor turning basin, 5 p.m. Info, www.sequoiayc.org.
Photographing a lighted boat parade is notoriously difficult, so if you get some nice clear shots, we’d love to see them. Send them to LaDonna at the link above.