You don’t need three feet of ski-quality powder to feel the magic of the season. Southern California has its own tradition of brilliantly lit holiday boat parades. Here’s your guide to the floating parades this winter. Put on your Santa hat, bring your folding chair, and practice your merriest sea captain growl.
L.A. Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade
The L.A. Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade is a staple of family holiday entertainment. Watch from ashore as the spectacularly decorated boats glide through the Port of Los Angeles Main Channel. Battleship IOWA is hosting a viewing party with live music, holiday crafts, characters from the Nutcracker, and a visit from Santa himself. Be sure to stick around for the firing of the saluting battery. More information.
When: Saturday, December 7, 6 p.m.
Where: 600 N. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro
Marina del Rey 51st Boat Parade
Be sure to get there in time. Fireworks go off at 5:55 p.m. Burton Chase Park is one of the most popular viewing spots for the Marina del Rey Boat Parade which is cruising on its 51st year. There’s music on the loudspeakers and announcers Lisa Osborn and Mickey Czegledy will provide fun and festive commentary, as the parade gets under way. More information.
When: Saturday, December 14 at 5:55 p.m.
Where: Burton Chase Park, Marina Del Rey
King Harbor Boat Parade
The 22nd annual King Harbor Boat Parade kicks off in the late afternoon with a parade of stand-up paddleboards and outrigger canoes. All participants will be competing for one of eight event trophies. A new feature this year is a live internet radio and video telecast, so you can follow the parade from the comfort of your home or a restaurant on the dock. More information.
When: Saturday, December 14 at 4:15 p.m.
Where: King Harbor
Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade of Lights
Holiday on the harbor in Dana Point is a festive, family-friendly event returning this year for two weekends. Join Santa on the harbor, where he’ll take down all your Christmas wishes, check out the many game booths, and hang out with the ponies at the petting zoo. Christmas carolers and boat rides with Santa are also part of the activities. More information.
When: December 6 & December 7, December 13 & December 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Water’s Edge, Dana Point Harbor
Naples Long Beach Boat Parade
Get there early. The streets are closed at 5 p.m. The large boat parade sets sail at 6 p.m. and is followed by the small boat parade at 6:45 p.m. The theme this year is “Vintage Christmas” so be sure to take note of what creative decorations the skippers have come up with. More information.
When: Saturday, December 21 at 6 p.m.
Where: 6201 Appian Way, Long Beach
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes, and other small boats all decked out for the season will light up the harbor for five consecutive nights. In the past some boat owners have spent up to $50.000 on boat decorations so be sure you don’t miss this one. Plenty of caroling, music, and holiday cheer as the boats make their way around the harbor. More information.
When: December 18 – 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: 1470 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach