Parade of Lights sets sail at Mission Bay Saturday
by ANTHONY GENTILE
Dec 09, 2009 | 5382 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thousands of locals will line the shores of Mission Bay on Saturday, Dec. 12 for the annual Mission Bay Parade of Lights. The parade is as uniquely Mission Beach as any holiday celebration.

“It’s very unique,” said Mission Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) vice commodore Randy Smith. “You don’t often get to see a hundred boats dressed up in different colored lighting celebrating the holiday.”

More than 60,000 people are expected to attend the event that will feature more than 100 boats parading around the bay from 7 to 9 p.m. brandishing all variety of holiday lights. MBYC and SeaWorld put on the parade that sets sail from Quivira Basin.

“It’s a non-commercialized, free event to celebrate the Christmas season. We don’t take advertising nor do we allow advertising,” Smith said. “It’s totally just for fun and just to celebrate the holiday in the San Diego spirit.”

The parade concludes with a fireworks display courtesy of SeaWorld. The fireworks bring an end to what Smith said is a festive evening.

Since Smith is always at the helm of a boat during the parade, including captaining the lead boat in this year’s edition, he has never watched the parade from land. If he were to, however, Smith suggested Crown Point, Vacation Island, Riviera Shores and Fiesta Island as the best spots to watch the parade – the latter two because of the amount of parking available.

“There’s so many places to view it that crowds are not an issue,” Smith said.

Registration is still open to those who wish to float in the parade. Each participant in the parade receives a plaque of recognition from SeaWorld.

For more event information, including a map of the parade route and how to go about registering, visit www.mission-bayparadeoflights.org.
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