A holiday tree-lighting ceremony featuring a 30-foot Christmas tree on Stearns Wharf will kick off the 24th annual Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

The parade will conclude with fireworks off West Beach.

Lighted boats will decorate to the theme “Underwater Wonderland.” Sea creatures, mermaids and sunken treasures are but a few of the many images that may surface.

Before the parade, at 3 p.m., visit Santa’s Village on the city pier in Santa Barbara Harbor for a photo with Santa while children play in 10 tons of snow, elves distribute goody bags from the Maritime Museum and the barbershop quartet Centerpiece leads a sing-along of holiday favorites.

Come early, visit Santa’s Village, then cheer on your favorite boats as participants dive deep to discover their seaworthy creativity. The best viewing locations for the parade include Stearns Wharf, the breakwater and East Beach.

Admission is free.

This year’s event is sponsored by the 2009 Parade of Lights Committee, the city of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants Association, the Stearns Wharf Business Association and the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

— Renee Smith represents the 2009 Parade of Lights Committee.