Santa Barbara Parade of Lights at The Harbor

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The Santa Barbara Parade of Lights is an event like no other, and a must-see this holiday season. Watch as Santa Barbara Harbor is electrified with lights, lasers and fireworks! Located just 2 miles up the coast, Broughton Hotels’ Inn at East Beach provides the perfect setting to end your Santa Barbara night.


The city of Santa Barbara is proud to present the 31st Annual Parade of Lights. For those not familiar with the event this is not your typical parade, rather than floats driving down a city street, decorated boats sail down the harbor. Saddle up and get ready for a hootin’ and hollerin’ good time as this year’s theme is “Wild West Holiday.”


The festivities begin with Santa’s Village at 3:00pm on City Pier. Fake snow blankets the pier to create a winter wonderland by the beach. Have your photo taken with the man who puts the “Santa” in Santa Barbara, Mr. Claus himself! Arrive early as the first 200 children will receive goodie bags.


At 5:30pm the main event begins. Approximately 25 boats will be shining bright on the Santa Barbara coastline, hoping to take home the first-place prize. Motor boats, sail boats and paddle boats look their best in holiday décor as they make their way to the judging area at Stearns Wharf. First, second and third place prizes are awarded in five categories including sail, powered and paddle. Stearns Wharf and the breakwater provide the best location to watch.


Stick around after the grand prize winner is crowned for the 7:00pm fireworks display.


Want to keep the party going? Numerous bars and restaurants in the area will welcome you for a drink or a bite to eat. Toma Restaurant and Bar is perfect if you’re in the mood for Italian. If you’d prefer a more casual dining experience, Lucky Penny will give you just that with some of the best pizza and sandwiches in Santa Barbara. And of course, there are restaurants selling fresh seafood at every corner. Brophy Bros., Santa Barbara Shellfish Company and Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach are a few recommendations.


Want to see what you’re in for? Click here to check out boats from past parades!



What: Santa Barbara Parade of Lights

Where: 217 Stearn’s Wharf, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

When: December 11, 2016, Santa’s Village at 3:00pm, Parade at 5:30pm, Fireworks at 7:00pm

Admission: Free


Where To Stay

Inn at East Beach

Whatever makes your ideal California weekend getaway, the Inn at East Beach Hotel in Santa Barbara is here to help you stay well- and well within your budget! 1029 Orilla Del Mar, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. 805.965.0546