San Diego Bay Parade of Lights to bring holiday cheer to Bayfront Dec. 8 and 15
by Staff and contribution
Dec 05, 2013 | 3573 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The family-friendly San Diego Bay Parade of Lights returns for its 42nd year for two  weekends to wow spectators with the holiday spirit on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. About 10,000 people are expected to turn out for the annual event.                                                Courtesy photo
The family-friendly San Diego Bay Parade of Lights returns for its 42nd year for two weekends to wow spectators with the holiday spirit on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. About 10,000 people are expected to turn out for the annual event. Courtesy photo
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Continuing a long-standing San Diego tradition, the 42nd annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights promises to dazzle bayfront crowds the evenings of Dec. 8 and 15.

Participants in this year’s cherished holiday event will decorate their boats following the theme — “The Big Bay Toy Parade.”

 Presented by the San Diego Unified Port District, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights brings more than 100,000 San Diego residents and visitors to the shores of San Diego Bay each December. The procession of about 80 lavishly decorated boats has become one of the most iconic holiday events of the region.

 A wide variety of awards are presented to the best-dressed boats and those that best capture the event’s theme. All participants receive a participant plaque and are invited to the awards dinner on Jan. 9, where a wide variety of prizes will be raffled off.

This year, the grand prize is a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two with  Star Clippers, whose fleet includes three of the largest full-rigged sailing ships in the world, each with all of the activities and amenities of a private mega-yacht. Everyone who participates in both nights of the parade and passes both sets of judges will be eligible to win the Star Clippers cruise.

 Beginning at 5:30 p.m. each night, the parade slowly navigates west from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, then south along the Embarcadero and Seaport Village before turning back north to pass the Ferry Landing in Coronado. The parade takes about two hours to pass any given point and there are many comfortable waterfront viewpoints along the route. A map of the route is available on the event’s website to make it easy to find your preferred viewing spot. Due to increased traffic and parking demand, observers are encouraged to plan ahead or take the trolley to the event.

 For added insight into the participating boats, viewers can watch the parade from near the announcer’s area, just north of the Maritime Museum on the Embarcadero. As each boat passes this viewing point, the announcer offers a brief history and description of the vessel.

 Panels of judges are stationed at two points along the parade route, at the Maritime Museum and on the docks at Peohe’s restaurant in Coronado. Participating boats must pass both sets of judges to be eligible for prizes.

 Boat owners interested in participating in this year’s San Diego Bay Parade of Lights can submit the registration form and the $40 entry fee online at www.sdparadeoflights.org. Participants can also download the form and submit payment and registration to the Bali Hai Restaurant at 2230 Shelter Island Drive.

The fee covers both evenings, and watercraft of all sizes are encouraged.

For more information, call (619) 224-2240 or emailquestions@sdpar-adeof-lights.org.

 If interested in sponsoring the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, contact Joni Geis at (619) 823-5220 or via email at joni@boatlenderusa.com. 

For more information and parade details, visit www.sdparadeoflights.org. 

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