Friday, November 16 , 2018, 10:54 am | Fair 67º


Captain’s Log: Parade of Lights to Be Boatload of Fun on Sunday

'Silver Bells and Winter Swells' theme to honor the Santa Barbara event's 25-year anniversary

I have as much fun at Santa Barbara’s annual Parade of Lights as any salty ol’ sea captain should ever be allowed.

Capt. David Bacon
Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

The planning committee asked me to emcee the event on Stearns Wharf again this year, so that voice you’ll hear on Sunday bellowing from the bridge, out on the wharf, will be your own captain. We may never be the same.

Some of the event highlights include Santa’s Village at 3 p.m. Sunday at the City Pier in Santa Barbara Harbor, including photos with Santa while children play in 10 tons of snow and elves hand out goodie bags; the lighting of the Christmas tree on the wharf; and, of course, the parade of incredibly decorated boats.

But my personal favorite is the firing of the cannon at 5:30 p.m. (performed by our very own cannoneer, Jeff Schultz) to begin the parade. That big boom shivers me timbers and brings back memories from five generations ago.

The parade will conclude with fireworks launched from West Beach, followed by an awards ceremony from about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Carriage and Western Art Museum, 129 Castillo St. The ceremony will include a no-host bar, hors d’oeuvres and live entertainment.

Weather conditions should be about as perfect at they come. The National Weather Service forecasts Sunday temperatures in the mid-70s, with calm winds.

Please join us at the Santa Barbara Harbor and on the wharf this Sunday for the 25th annual Parade of Lights festivities. A 25-year anniversary is worthy of a celebration. Our parade theme this year — “Silver Bells and Winter Swells” — reflects the parade’s 25-year anniversary and our love of the sea and surf.

Click here for more information about the event, which is sponsored by the 2010 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.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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