Illuminate the Holidays: 

Southern California's Enchanting Boat Parades


Boat Parade


The holiday season is in full swing in Southern California, and what better way to celebrate than with the magical glow of festive boat parades? From San Diego to Santa Barbara, the region is decking the hulls with lights and spreading the joy of the season. Here's a comprehensive guide to the enchanting holiday boat parades happening across Southern California.

San Diego County

1. 53rd Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 10 and Dec. 17

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Details: Embark on a journey of "Christmas Traditions Around the World" with 80 to 100 uniquely decorated boats. The parade kicks off at Shelter Island, winding its way past iconic landmarks, offering comfortable waterfront viewpoints. Don't miss the chance to participate; boat entries are welcome! For more information, visit San Diego Bay Parade of Lights.

2. Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 9

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Details: Start the festivities with SeaWorld's fireworks and enjoy a spectacular parade on Mission Bay. With holiday-themed hospitality, music, and even a visit from Princess Elsa and Buddy the Elf, it's a family-friendly event. VIP viewing is available, so be sure to check it out!

3. Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 9

  • Time: 7-9 p.m.

  • Details: Experience the enchantment of fishing boats, sailboats, and yachts adorned in holiday cheer as they circle Oceanside Harbor. Best viewing spots are near the fishing dock and police station, where you can catch the parade twice. Learn more at Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights.

Orange County

4. Dana Point Harbor 48th Annual Boat Parade of Lights: Candy Land

  • Date: Dec. 8-10

  • Time: 6:30 p.m.

  • Details: Dive into the world of "Candy Land" at Dana Point Harbor's 48th Annual Boat Parade of Lights. Enjoy lighting installations, visits with Santa, and holiday cruises. Check out Dana Point Harbor for more details.

5. 115th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 13-17

  • Time: 6:30 p.m.

  • Details: Hosted by the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Committee, this event promises a dazzling display of decorated yachts, boats, kayaks, and canoes. Find the best public viewing spots and learn about the parade map at Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

6. 61st Annual Huntington Harbour Boat Parade

  • Date: Dec. 9-10

  • Time: 4:30 p.m.

  • Details: Celebrate "The Power of Music" at this all-volunteer boat parade, a thank-you from the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee to residents. Consider entering your boat and check out Huntington Harbour Boat Parade for more information.

7. Annual Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade

  • Date: Dec. 10

  • Time: 5 p.m.

  • Details: This unique parade takes to the asphalt with 50-plus vessels touring Villa Park. Join the neighborhood parties, catch candy tossed overboard, and witness the festivities at Villa Park Towne Centre. Learn more at Villa Park Dry Land Boat Parade.

Los Angeles County

8. 61st Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade

  • Date: Dec. 9

  • Time: 6-8 p.m.

  • Details: Watch boats adorned with lights glide through Marina del Rey's main channel. Enjoy festive drinks, food, and a five-minute fireworks show before the parade. Find viewing locations at Marina del Rey Boat Parade.

9. King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade

  • Date: Dec. 9

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Details: Honoring first responders, this parade showcases brightly decorated boats and paddle crafts parading through the marina. Check out King Harbor Holiday Boat Parade for more information.

10. 62nd Annual L.A. Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade

  • Date: Dec. 2

  • Time: 6-8 p.m.; pre-parade events begin at 4 p.m.

  • Details: Illuminate the holidays with brightly lit and decorated boats at the L.A. Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade. The parade starts at the Port of Los Angeles' East Basin, offering multiple viewing points. Learn more at L.A. Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade.

Ventura County

11. 57th Annual Parade of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 9

  • Time: 7-9 p.m.

  • Details: Set sail to the theme of "Santa's Workshop" at Channel Islands Harbor. The parade route promises a magical spectacle, and you can catch the boats from various viewing points along the route. Find more information at Channel Islands Harbor.

12. Ventura Harbor’s 46th Annual Parade of Lights & Fireworks

  • Date: Dec. 15-16

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Details: Ventura Harbor Village hosts the Parade of Lights with a "Hula Holiday" theme. Immerse yourself in the festivities, and don't miss the fireworks. Explore more at Ventura Harbor Village.

Santa Barbara County

13. 37th Annual Holiday Parade of Lights

  • Date: Dec. 10

  • Time: 5:30 p.m.

  • Details: Head to Stearns Wharf, the breakwater, West Beach, or East Beach for an evening of fun at the Parade of Lights. A fireworks show caps off the parade, and don't miss the Human-Powered category competition during daylight. Find more information at Santa Barbara Events.



Experience the magic of the season at these Southern California boat parades. Whether you're a spectator or a participant, these events promise to make your holidays merry and bright. Check the respective event websites for the latest updates and plan your festive adventure on the water!