Ten tons of snow will be piled up for kids to play in at Santa Barbara Harbor. (Courtesy photo)

One of Santa Barbara’s signature holiday events, the 36th Annual Parade of Lights, gets underway Sunday, Dec. 11, starting at the Santa Barbara Harbor.

The free-to-attend event opens with a Winter Wonderland at noon on the harbor pier, featuring holiday elves, 10 tons of snow, festive music, and photos with Santa.

Parade competition starts at 3:30 p.m. with the human-powered category. Dozens of standup paddlers and kayakers dressed in jolly attire will paddle through the harbor and around Stearns Wharf, spreading holiday cheer.

At 5 p.m. thre will be a holiday tree lighting ceremony on Stearns Wharf next to the Sea Center.

At 5:30 p.m. about 30 illuminated watercraft, decked out for this year’s theme Deck the Hulls will light up the night as they make their way from Ledbetter Beach down the coast to the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion, then back along the coast to the wharf.

The parade will be capped off by a brief fireworks show. Best viewing locations for the boat parade and fireworks include Stearns Wharf, the breakwater, West Beach, and East Beach.

Registration for the competition is now open and it is free to enter. Participants can enter one of five categories: human-powered, power, sail, commercial fishing, or commercial other. There will be thousands of dollars in prizes.

Pick up an entry form at the Harbor Market, Harbor Fuel Dock, Waterfront offices, or click here to enter online.

This year’s event is sponsored by the 2022 Parade of Lights Committee, Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, Santa Barbara Harbor Merchants Association, Stearns Wharf Business Association, and Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

For more, visit www.SantaBarbaraCA.gov/ParadeofLights.