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Boats light up rainy night at parade

OCEANSIDE — Wet weather did not stop the Oceanside Yacht Club Parade of Lights on Dec. 12. The annual parade of boats strewn with holiday lights has been a tradition for more than 18 years.
About a dozen boats participated in the parade that circles Oceanside Harbor despite the off and on rain and choppy water. Small crowds came out to watch the boat parade from docks, jetties or their anchored boats.
“Last year we had to cancel because of significant winds,” Jim Jenkins, Oceanside Yacht Club vice commodore, said. This year the final call to go on with the parade came at 6 p.m. The lead boat radioed news that the parade was on and boats fell in line to cruise around the harbor.
The Parade of Lights motors around the harbor three times so that spectators and parade judges can have a good look. Boats are judged on creativity, originality and themes. “Something unusual or unique about the design gets the award for the overall winner,” Jenkins said. In addition to the prize for overall winner there are awards for best-decorated motorboat and best-decorated sailboat.
In previous years additional boats, kayaks and surfboard paddlers with flashlights spontaneously joined the parade once it began. The parade is so popular that last year when the parade was officially called off due to high winds, boats still cruised around the harbor an hour after the parade cancellation when winds died down.
For a list of this year’s Parade of Lights winners, visit
See video from the event at