The 35th annual Parade of Lights will take place tonight in the Santa Barbara Harbor. This year’s parade theme is “Magic Under the Moonlight.”
Activities, all free of charge, will begin at noon, where guests can experience a ‘winter wonderland’ on the City Pier in the harbor. There will be snow, elves, and Christmas music. Santa Clause may even make an appearance however there will be no photo-ops with Santa.
Unlike previous years, the Human-Powered category competition will be held during the daylight hours starting at 4 p.m. There will be five categories that can be entered: human-powered, power, sail, commercial fishing or commercial other. Stand-up paddlers and kayakers dressed in holiday attire will loop Stearns Wharf spreading holiday cheer. At 5 p.m. the Holiday Tree lighting ceremony, including a holiday choir, will take place on the shoreward finger of the wharf near the Sea Center.
Starting at about 5:30 p.m., the evening’s main attraction will begin, as approximately 30 illuminated watercraft make their way from Leadbetter Beach down the coast all the way to the Cabrillo Arts Pavillion, then looping back along the coast and up to Stearns Wharf. The parade will end with a short fireworks display. The best viewing locations include Stearns Wharf, the breakwater and East Beach.
This year’s sponsors are the 2021 Parade of Lights Committee, City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants Association, and the Stearns Wharf Business Association.
Stearns Wharf closes to vehicular traffic when parking is full and foot traffic becomes heavy. In the past, this closure happened around 3:30 p.m.. so attendees are advised to plan accordingly.
Voting for the winners will be conducted online, at https://www.santabarbaraca.gov/gov/depts/waterfront/events/light_parade.asp.
For more information, contact Waterfront Public Information Officer Chris Bell at 805-618-8642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.