The second Saturday in December marks a special tradition at the Channel Islands Harbor as the community kicks off the holiday season with the annual Parade of Lights. This is more than just an event – it’s an awesome experience. This year, the 53rd Annual Parade of Lights takes place on Dec. 8th. The parade starts at 7 p.m., but there's plenty to do all day.
Here’s why you need to bring your family!
Our floats are boats!
Your children and family will be in awe as fantastic festive boats light up the night as the procession winds through the Harbor. This year’s theme is Heroes on Holiday. With so many super heroes and local real life heroes, you’ll be sure to find a favorite to cheer on.
Free pics with Santa and 36 tons of snow
Festivities at the Harbor begin at 10 a.m. near Marine Emporium Landing. Take your family and enjoy a variety of food options, a holiday artists’ market, live music, and children’s activities. There will be more than 36 tons of snow moved in for your family to play in. Plus, Santa will be there to take pictures, free of charge, with your children. The market closes at 8 p.m.
Treat your family
Relish the opportunity to dine and shop in your favorite establishments in the Harbor prior to the parade. From pizza to fine dining, there’s a lot to choose from. Plus, if you can’t make it out to the parade in time while dining, there’s a great chance you can see the parade from the restaurant of your choice!
Mast Lighting at the Maritime
The Channel Islands Maritime Museum is excited to start a new tradition at the Harbor: The Holiday Lighting of the 75-foot “Tallship Mast” in front of the museum.
The event will take placed at 6 p.m., just before the Parade of Lights starts. There will be carolers, sing-alongs, a visit from Santa and the official mast lighting. How fun is that?
Where to watch the Parade of Lights?
The parade starts in front of Peninsula Park and heads to the Main Channel, turns at Kiddie Beach, loops in front of the launch ramp, then heads back to Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club and repeats the route for a second run. The parade can be viewed from parks and walkways that line the route as well as from most Harbor restaurants. A charter aboard The Gentleman is available for those who want to watch the parade from the water. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PARADE ROUTE MAP.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published November 20, 2018.