Director’s Message: Holiday Happenings at the Harbor

I love this time of the year, particularly on the waterfront.  I have been fortunate enough to spend most of my career working on the waterfront, and I always look forward to the Holiday Season.  It seems as if businesses and residents on and around the water take special pride in their decorations, and the lights have an added effect as they reflect off the water.  The weather is normally cool, crisp and clear, there is anticipation in the air, and people are generally in a good mood.  Holiday season at the Channel Islands Harbor – it just does not get any better than that.

A big part of the fun this time of the year are the festivities which are widely available.  The Oxnard Holiday Parade and Tamale Festival is this Saturday (December 1).  This will be a great kick-off to the Holidays, and I will be participating as I walk with the Rotary Club of Oxnard, of which I am now a member.  In addition, I hope you plan to come to the Harbor on December 8 and watch the Parade of Lights boat parade, which begins at 7 p.m.  This is the 53rd year, and our theme this year is “Heroes on Holiday,” which includes real-life heroes such as our military and first-responders, as well as the fictional superheroes which come to life on the screen.  Before the parade, there will be a Holiday festival by the Marine Emporium Landing on Harbor Boulevard, which will include Holiday gift booths, snow for the kids to play in, and even a visit by Santa for picture taking.  That same evening, the Maritime Museum will host its inaugural “Lighting of the Tallship Mast” at 6 p.m. in front of the Museum, a must see.

The most significant development news this month is that we are getting closer to breaking ground on our new Harbor Administration building.  As you might imagine, this is a significant structure at the water’s edge, and therefore is an expensive endeavor.  While we will likely finance the lion’s share of the cost, I am sure there will be criticism that we are building a new administration building at all.  It should be noted, however, that the old administration building is a half-century old, and in such bad shape that most of the staff had to move into temporary trailers about a year ago.

As we turn the corner into December, I hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, or whichever Happy Holiday you celebrate.

As always, live every day to the fullest.

Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 29, 2018.