From Feliz Navidad to Joyeux Noël, Parade of Lights Adds International Flavor This Year

A past San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is taking an international approach to one of the holiday season’s most popular attractions.

The theme for the annual free parade on the bay is “Christmas Traditions Around the World.”

A variety of prizes and awards are presented to the best decorated boats and those that best capture the parade’s theme each year. 

The 53rd Parade of Lights is set for Dec. 10 and 17. The procession will begin each of the two Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and continue for approximately two hours. 

Those interested in entering their boat in the parade should check online to access the signup form which became available in October. Anyone with a boat can enter, whether it’s a small kayak or a large yacht. 

The entry fee for a boat is currently $75. After Dec. 2, it rises to $100.  

More than 150,000 local residents and visitors join each year in viewing the procession of up to 100 uniquely decorated boats.  

The parade route has been the same for the last six years, starting at Shelter Island, traveling west past Harbor Island, then south before turning parallel with the Coronado Bridge. The parade then proceeds past the Coronado Ferry Landing to the finish line.

Viewing areas span across multiple areas along the bayfront.