Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
Dana Point Harbor has announced a “Tiki Holiday” theme for the harbor, as the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights returns on Dec. 6-7 and 13-14.
Families are invited to enjoy tiki-themed activities and live entertainment, restaurant offerings, visits with Santa, and the parade of local boats adorned with holiday lights. Each event date will kick off with entertainment along the harbor beginning at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Boat Parade of Lights at 7:30 p.m.
“The boat parade truly captures the essence of Dana Point,” Bryon Ward of Dana Point Harbor Partners and President of Burnham Ward Properties said in a press release. “Dana Point Harbor Partners is excited to continue this highly anticipated holiday tradition celebrating community, culture and the legacy of the harbor.”
Each evening of the event, Dana Point Harbor will present a lineup of tiki-themed entertainment including hula dancers, face painters, seasonal carolers, a Volkswagen photo booth bus, and a photo opportunity with Mr. Claus himself.
To sign up to be a part of the Dana Point Harbor boat parade tradition, fill out an application online or visit The Marina at Dana Point Office.
This year’s lineup of award categories includes best overall theme, most original, lights/music, Mayor’s Cup, Supervisor’s cup and more. New this year, a $1,000 donation will be awarded to the charity or youth sailing program of the yacht club with the most entries in the 45th Annual Boat Parade of Lights between Dana West Yacht Club and Dana Point Yacht Club. All award winners will receive cash prizes, with a total distribution of over $10,000 courtesy of Dana Point Harbor Partners.
To view the parade on the water, viewers can book a space aboard a Dana Wharf or Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari vessel. The Marina at Dana Point will also have guest slips available for visiting boaters. For information on their guest slips, contact The Marina at Dana Point Office.
The harbor will light up with mesmerizing lights again this year from Friday Nov. 22 to Thursday, Jan. 2. The “Merry Kiss Me” arch will be back with an Instagram competition through @DanaPoint_Harbor. Additional festivities throughout the holidays include Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching’s Boat Rides with Santa on Saturday, December 7 and Sunday, December 8 from 10 a.m.–2. p.m. Take photos with Santa and his holiday helpers on this adventure at sea, and a $5 donation will benefit the El Camino Real Junior Woman’s Club.
The Pet Project Foundation will host the 8th annual Santa Paws event on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Pet photos with Santa will be offered for a small donation. All proceeds support the Pet Project Foundation.
A free trolley will run on each night of the Boat Parade from 4:30-10:30 p.m., with drop-off and pick-up locations along Dana Point Harbor Drive.