Three Of Our Favorites

Boat Parades Light Up The Season


November 1, 2015

London Bridge Lake Havasu

Throughout boating communities worldwide, parades of lights welcome the holiday season. There is nothing more spectacular than colored lights sparkling on boats as they ply the rivers and lakes and bays - truly beautiful gifts to all those who some to see and celebrate.

Here are three of our Southwest favorites for you to put on your calendar in time to plan ahead for the one you hope to visit in 2015.

Lake Havasu: 'Sparkle under the Stars"

For the past 33 years the Annual Boat Parade of Lights has been the must-see event of the holiday season. Lake Havasu City's Boat Parade of Lights has been repeatedly selected as one of the top 100 events in the U.S. by the American Bus Association.

Up to 50 boats brightly decorated in their holiday best will delight children and adults alike on Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Watch the boats cruise through the Bridgewater Channel beginning in Thompson Bay and continuing under the London Bridge to the north end of the Channel, with a turnaround at Windsor Beachand back.

Bundle up and take a stroll through the Channel - the only time you'll see the Channel packed full of boats and boaters in winter gear at night. Come cozy up with family and friends and create treasured memories of a favorite holiday tradition!

This year's theme is "Sparkle under the Stars."

Boat parade participants and sponsors invite you to visit the docks in front of the London Bridge Resortwhere parade floats will be lit up nightly beginning at dusk.

Bonfires will be permitted throughout the Channel on the island side beach areas but must be contained in a portable, self-contained fire pit. All ashes must be removed entirely and the area left clean. Absolutely no digging of fire pits in the sand and no dumping of ashes in the water. The area will be patrolled throughout the evening.

There will be great viewing at the Nautical Beachfront Resort (the starting point of the Parade of Lights),Rotary Beach, throughout the Channel on both sides between Rotary Beach and Windsor Beach, the English Village, across the London Bridge, and at any of the restaurants along the Channel. (If you plan on watching from the Channel restaurants, early reservations are recommended.)

There is no charge to view The 33rd Annual Boat Parade. Plenty of free parking is available at the English Village and in the parking areas on the island near the Channel. Plan to get there early as traffic around the London Bridge can become congested.

Event dates and times are subject to change. Please contact event coordinator to verify information.

Tempe Town Lake: 'Fantasy of Lights'

Light up the night and be dazzled at the Valley's most unique holiday event - the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Presented by SRP at Tempe Town Lake on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 5 p.m.

Begun in 1999, the Boat Parade will feature as many as 50 festively lighted boats of all sizes. After dark, more than a thousand luminaria will illuminate the sidewalks and paths of Tempe Beach Park, a special display provided by Tempe South Rotary.

Fireworks will light up the night, too. The Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade fireworks finale will conclude the light-filled night following the end of the boat parade.

Special guest, Santa Claus, will hear children's gift requests in Tempe Beach Park. Bring your camera! Families are encouraged to bring their own camera for free Selfies with Santa. Admission for spectators is free.

Do you want to take part in this Tempe tradition? Families, community groups, and companies are invited to enter the boat parade with their own lighted and decorated water craft. Visit for more information.

San Diego, Calif .: 'Christmas around the World'

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition brought to San Diego by the boating community. Join us this December for our 44th annual Parade on San Diego Bay, with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated according to a new theme each year.

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is held two consecutive Sundays each year in December, this year on Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. The Parade proceeds from Shelter Island past Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village, and Ferry Landing in Coronado.

San Diego

The procession will start at 5:30 p.m. and will follow the predetermined parade route.Whether a participant or spectator, the Parade of Lights is a festive and delightful experience for all!

The Grand Prize from Star Clippers is a luxury cruise package for two aboard one of the incredible sailing ships of Star Clippers. Grand prize will be chosen at random from the pool of participant boats that complete both nights of the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Cruise destination to be announced.

Marv Sloben, the parade's official photographer, has photos of the boats. He can be contacted via email at Marv Sloben

Editor's Note: If you know of other lighted-boat parades in the Southwest and would like us to mention them in our December issue, please email the details and photos to Thank you.


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