Story by Breeana Greenberg and photos by Alan Gibby
Dozens of boaters decked out their vessels with multi-colored lights this past weekend, illuminating the Dana Point Harbor for the 47th annual Boat Parade of Lights.
This year’s theme, Surfin’ USA, brought out 75 boats decorated as Woodies, American flags and killer waves. Some boats sported lights that reacted to music.
Outgoing OC Board Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Supervisor Katrina Foley, outgoing Mayor Joe Muller, newly appointed Mayor Mike Frost, Councilmembers Michael Villar, Jamey Federico and Matthew Pagano, as well as harbor stakeholders, dignitaries and the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce judged participating boats to award prizes in 12 different categories.
“This is always such an amazing and enjoyable event, and a great way to get the community into the spirit of the season,” Bartlett said in an email. “There were so many incredible entries in this year’s holiday boat parade and each one beautifully represented the ‘Surfin’ USA’ theme.”
Donna Kalez, owner of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching and one of the judges, has attended the Dana Point Boat Parade of Lights since she was 3 years old.
“I was thrilled to see the Dana Point Harbor spirit come out all three nights,” Kalez said in an email.
Frost attended the Boat Parade with his family, noting that it’s “hard to think of a better place to celebrate the holidays.”
“It was fantastic, boat owners really embraced the theme, Surfin’ USA, and put on a great show,” Frost said in an email.
The Dana Point Harbor Partners will award prizes ranging from $500 to $1,000 for categories such as Best Overall, People’s Choice and Holiday Spirit, as well as Totally Tubular for the boat that best represents the Surfin’ USA theme.
Winners will be announced at the marina’s awards reception on Thursday, Jan. 12.
Breeana Greenberg is the city reporter for the Dana Point Times. She graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor of arts degree in English. Before joining Picket Fence Media, she worked as a freelance reporter with the Laguna Beach Independent. Breeana can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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