Holiday boat parades launch this weekend in Dana Point, Marina Del Rey

Santa Claus goes disco in this entry from the 2011 Dana Point Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.
Santa Claus goes disco in this entry from the 2011 Dana Point Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.
Courtesy of Dana Point Harbor Association

Boat owners from around Orange County are stringing lights on their vessels for the 38th annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Dana Point. It kicks off Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Dana Point Harbor and continues Saturday night, and again next weekend (Dec. 15-16). 

Lynn Hannegan said this year, she's going to let someone else have a chance at winning. She has won numerous awards at the boat parade. This year she's stepped out of the competition to serve as a judge. 

Hannegan said boat owners are very competitive and start thinking about decorations months in advance. It can be a big task, so this time around she thought to ask local U.S. Marines to help string lights. 

“Some of the gentleman and women down there are getting a little bit old to be climbing around the boats putting the lights up,” she said. “And I thought, well, there’s these U.S. Marines stationed here and they don’t have families and it’s the holidays so this kinda gives them something to do.”

Hannegan said 22 Marines headed down to the harbor early Friday morning to volunteer.

She said along with colorful lights on the boats, you can expect to see some costumes at the parade, as some boat owners like to dress along with the theme. This year, it's "Hollywood."

Hannegan remembers one year she was a pirate with her grandkids. Another year, she dressed as a mermaid.

“Another year we had a surfing theme and I had a light-up bikini on and I rode tandem on a surfboard,” she said.


WHAT: Dana Point’s Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

WHERE: Dana Point Harbor

WHEN: Fri. Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m., Sat. Dec. 8, Fri. Dec. 14, Sat. Dec. 15

There is another holiday boat parade in Marina Del Rey. The 50th annual event will kick-off with a fireworks display in the Marina's main channel. The grand marshall of the parade is Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings. 


WHAT: Marina del Rey’s Holiday Boat Parade

WHERE: Main Channel, Marina del Rey

WHEN: Sat. Dec. 8, Fireworks at 5:55 p.m., Boat parade follows from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.