Boats strung with holiday lights will sail around the Port of Los Angeles on Saturday, kicking off the season of floating parades from San Pedro to Marina del Rey.
Unlike past years, some will be happy to hear there's no overlap; the area's three boat parades this year all fall on different weekends.
On Saturday, organizers of the Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade hope to see at least 50 boats join the event that's marking a milestone anniversary. The theme: "50 Golden Years of Holiday Lights."
Vessels will start circling the Main Channel at 6 p.m., with Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino serving as parade grand marshal.
"We're celebrating all the great features of our waterfront," said Donna Ethington, parade committee chairwoman. "We have so many nice features now that we didn't have 50 years ago."
The parade will start in the East Basin near Banning's Landing Community Center in Wilmington and take about 90 minutes to cover the route up the channel.
Suggested viewing spots are at Banning's Landing, Wilmington's marinas, the USS Iowa, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Ports O'Call Village, 22nd Street Landing, Cabrillo and Holiday Harbor marinas and the SS Lane Victory.
On Dec. 8, Marina del Rey will host its 50th holiday boat parade featuring beach volleyball player and Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings as grand marshal. The theme is "A Solid Gold Christmas."
Organizers say Marina del Rey's first parade in 1963 featured 20 boats - not a bad showing considering that in those days there were only about 100 boats in the developing marina, and almost no buildings.
This year's event in the Main Channel will kick off at
5:55 p.m. with a fireworks show. Boats decked out in lights will circle the marina from 6-8 p.m.
The waterfront Burton Chace Park at the tip of Mindanao Way is a popular viewing location, and also the spot where announcers Lisa Osborn, a newscaster on KFWB-AM (980) radio, and Mickey Laszlo, a cartoon voiceover actor, will offer commentary.
The last local parade of the month is set for Dec. 15 in Redondo Beach's King Harbor.
In the past Redondo's event has overlapped with Marina del Rey's, the hope now is that some boaters may join both parades, said Ken Roberts, King Harbor Boat Parade chairman.
The theme of this year's parade - sponsored by King Harbor Yacht Club - is "A Christmas Wish."
The King Harbor event - which could accommodate 30-35 boats - starts at
5:30 p.m. Actress and model Bo Derek, a Torrance native, will serve as the grand marshal.
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Find out more
Last-minute entries will be accepted until noon on Saturday for the Los Angeles Harbor Holiday Afloat Parade. Call Donna Ethington at 310-549-8111. The event starts at 6 p.m. For more, www.
For details and to register for the Dec. 8 Marina del Rey parade, which starts at
5:55 p.m., link to mdrboatparade.org
King Harbor Yacht Club's floating parade in Redondo Beach is at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15. To sign up, email ken@
bitterendyachts.com. For info: