SANTA BARBARA — The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancelation of this year’s Parade of Lights, but officials won’t let it cancel the holiday spirit.
This year, the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department will hold a Virtual Vessel Holiday Lights Contest and residents will get to be the judge, according to a news release.
Through Dec. 13, vessel owners will decorate their boats. There will be four categories (Power, Sail, Commercial Fishing and Commercial Other). There is no theme this year.
From Dec. 14 to 17, Waterfront Department staff will visit all participating vessels in their slips and photograph their entry.
On Dec. 18, Waterfront Department staff will post entrant photos along with a judging poll on social media. The public will then get to score the competitors.
Winners will be announced on Dec. 21.
Thanks to the generous support of signature sponsor T-Mobile, the Waterfront Department will purchase gift cards from Stearns Wharf and harbor businesses to be used as prizes. Entrants will vie for over $5,000 in prizes including: Annual Waterfront Parking Permits, wine, gift certificates and more.
Participation is free, and no purchase is necessary. The contest is open to any vessel occupying a slip in Santa Barbara Harbor through Dec. 17.
— Mitchell White