Glitter, Glow, Glitz, And Sparkle
Lighted Boat Parades Celebrate Christmas
Editor’s Note: Although there are many other of these fantastic events throughout the Southwest, we here present three of our favorites.
Tempe Town Lake Boat Parade + Fireworks Show
It’s all ahead: holiday shopping, food and drink, a boat parade, and a fireworks show. Join us for the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade – the Valley’s most unique holiday event and celebrated tradition. Enjoy holiday shopping, festive eats and treats, a dazzling boat parade featuring boats of all shapes and sizes, and a spectacular fireworks show. This event is free and family-friendly. We hope you will join us on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 4-9 p.m. Here’s the schedule:
4 p.m. Tempe Beach Park Opens For Shopping, Eats, Drinks
- Holiday Shopping – Shop local handmade goods from various vendors!
- Eat + Drink – Enjoy a hot chocolate or delightful treat while you stroll through the park. Stop at one of the numerous food vendors for a bite to eat.
6 p.m. Viewing Of Boat Parade Followed By Lighted Boats
8 p.m. Fireworks And Shopping At Tempe Beach Park
- Fireworks – Celebrate the holiday season with a big bang…and lots of “aahhhhs”!
- Holiday Shopping – Continue to eat, drink, and shop local handmade goods from various vendors.
9 p.m. Event Concludes
Lake Havasu City’s Boat Parade Of Lights
It’s quite a year of celebration in Lake Havasu City as it marks the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the famous London Bridge. (See October issue of Arizona Boating & Watersports/Western Outdoor Times for more details.) And, just ahead is one of the most fantastic events on the Colorado River: The city’s salute to the holiday season, Friday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 4 at 10 p.m.
It is thrilling to watch the parade float through Thompson Bay and the Bridgewater Channel beneath the grand old London Bridge. Although last year’s parade was somewhat compromised by the pandemic restrictions, there were still around 30 craft ranging from a tiny tugboat up to a 52-foot yacht.
There is no charge for spectators and all are recommended to abide by social distancing guidelines.
The annual Festival of Lights continues into January 2022. Take the family for a stroll under the London Bridge along the walkway, or take a boat on a night cruise through the Bridgewater Channel as over 500,000 lights set the water aglow. Free parking is located at the English Village or the London Bridge Resort and Convention Center. Illumination is from dusk to 10 p.m. nightly.
Although more information was not available at press time, we suggest that you continue checking these sites for updates: https://www.golakehavasu.com/lake_havasu_festival_lights and https://www.golakehavasu.com/Lake_Havasu_Christmas_Parade_of_Lights
San Diego Bay Parade Of Lights
After a year’s hiatus, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is looking to make big waves with its return on Sunday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 19.
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights today announced the theme for the 2021 holiday boat parade is “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year marks the 50th Parade of Lights, one of San Diego’s most beloved holiday traditions held on San Diego Bay.
“It’ll be great to get back and celebrate the holidays on the water San Diego-style this year,” said Parade Chairman Larry Baumann. “The 12-days of Christmas is a traditional theme with tons of potential for fun and creativity. The kids should enjoy this year’s theme, in particular.”
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights brings more than 100,000 San Diego residents and visitors together on the San Diego Bay waterfront each year. The procession of about 80 lavishly decorated boats has become one of our region’s most iconic holiday events.
The parade route starts at Shelter Island and travels west past Harbor Island, then south along the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Cesar Chavez Park before turning parallel with the Coronado Bridge to the west side of the bay. The parade then proceeds past the Coronado Ferry Landing to the finish line. It takes about two hours to complete the procession and there are many comfortable waterfront viewpoints along the route.
A variety of prizes and awards are presented to the best decorated boats and those that best capture the parade’s theme.
Viewing areas span across multiple areas of the San Diego Bay. Prepare for traffic and parking ahead of time. Please report any suspicious activity to the Harbor Police. The possession of open alcoholic beverages is prohibited along the parade viewing area. Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems are also prohibited. Spectators and participants are asked to comply with San Diego County health guidelines when attending the event
Those interested in sponsoring the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, can contact Larry Baumann at 619-222-1181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and parade details, visit www.sdparadeoflights.org.
San Diego Bay Parade Of Lights Tradition
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored tradition brought to the San Diego Bay by the boating community. Each year, more than 80 lavishly decorated boats proceed around the San Diego Bay on two consecutive Sundays in December. For more information, please visit www.sdparadeoflights.org.