57th Annual Parade of Lights to Honor Spark of Love Toy Drive

“Santa’s Workshop Creates a Spark of Love” will be the title of the 57th Annual Parade of Lights at the Channel Islands Harbor. Boater’s are encouraged to decorate their entries with a “Santa’s Workshop” theme.

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said the theme of the Parade of Lights is meant to pay tribute and raise awareness of the Spark of Love Toy Drive – which is one of the benefactors of the 4th Annual Channel Islands Harbor Food & Toy Drive. The Harbor’s food and toy drive, whose benefits and proceeds benefit the Spark of Love and FoodShare of Ventura County, will be held on the same day as the Parade of Lights.

“We are thrilled to bring together the Parade of Lights and Food & Toy Drive, two iconic events, for the first time,” Director Tripp said. “This collaboration not only enhances the festive atmosphere but also amplifies our community’s generosity. It’s a unique opportunity for everyone to come together, celebrate, and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.”

The boat parade, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9th, brings thousands of residents and visitors to the waterfront each year. The procession of more than 50 decorated boats has become one of the most iconic holiday events in Ventura County.

Visitors of the boat parade are encouraged to bring a toy or non-perishable food item to the parade and drop off their donations at a variety of locations throughout the Harbor.

Each year, the Fire Departments of Ventura County and ABC7 team up to bring the Spark of Love Toy Drive to Ventura County. As the nation’s largest community toy drive, Spark of Love helps at-need Ventura County children and teens enjoy a happier holiday season. In 2022, through generous donations, more than 30,000 local children and teens were gifted by the kindness of the Spark of Love’s donors, businesses, and supporting sponsors.

Ventura County Fire Department Chief Dustin Gardner said he’s excited to partner with the Ventura County Harbor Department and Channel Islands Harbor community to lift the spirts of youth through the toy drive.

“As the Parade of Lights kicks off holiday festivities, consider how children in foster care, low-income families and other needy situations will mark the holidays, then do what you can to add some cheer to their lives,” Chief Gardner said.