Capital City Yacht Club’s (CCYC) Lighted Boat Parade is scheduled every December, on the first Saturday of the month. The boaters will decorate with festive lights and parade up and back the Sacramento River to celebrate the holidays.
The types of boats can range from 12' bass boats to 60' yachts, to 3-masted schooners. In the past, I have seen some very creative boats, little ones done up like a dove with wings and a head that moves so it 'flies' across the water, to fishing boats with lighted poles and lighted fish dangling on the end of a line, to a houseboat made into a Radio Flyer wagon. The boat owners can be fairly creative. This is a competition for the CCYC and the winner of the parade gets a prize.
The Sacramento parade starts at the Sacramento Marina after sundown around 6:30pm. We will be meeting in the parking lot at 6pm. You are welcome to show up earlier to steak-out the exact vantage point you want to shoot from.
The boats sail past Old Sacramento, all the way to the Virgin Sturgeon, and back. We will be meeting at the calsTars parking lot then walking between calsTars and the Ziggurat building (large pyramid-shaped building) over the stairway, to River Walk Park. From this vantage point, we will not only have a nice view of the lighted boats, but also have a backdrop of the Tower Bridge, the Delta King, and Old Sac.
There are other vantage points to view the parade as well:
It passes Tower Bridge at Old Sac (there's a park, and bike trail, between the Railroad museum and the river which offers a different angle and vantage point of the boats and bridge),
It passes the calsTars and Ziggurat buildings (River Walk Park), which is where we are meeting.
It goes under the 'I' Street Bridge,
It passes Yolo County Park, Matsui Waterfront Park, and the Sac River side of Discovery Park (fee area)
For those of you who wish to have comfort (warm and dry), you can view it from Joes Crab Shack, Crawdads River Cantina, or the Virgin Sturgeon Restaurant (which is where the parade turns around). You may want to keep in mind that these restaurants will be packed, and you'll probably be bumping shoulders with people who have had a few too many.
What to bring:
Camera, you will probably want a telephoto; and a tripod, this is night shooting, you'll want it!
Water-resistant shoes, this is on the shore of the river. The grass and ground gets WET, you don't want to be driven away early because your feet are wet and freezing.
Heavy (warm!) coat, hopefully one that does not let the breeze through, the breeze blows across the water and can be cold and damp. You'll also want gloves, scarf and warm hat.
For your comfort; bring a thermos with a hot drink, hand warmers to put in your pockets, a blanket for your legs or shoulders, and a folding chair.
You're welcome to bring your families and friends. This is a nice holiday event to share!
If you're determined enough, bring an umbrella or canopy if it's raining/drizzling. (I'm not that determined… there's always next year!)
On that note,
I gotta say, that for the boaters, the weather doesn't matter, they will be there in the cold, damp, and even in the rain… As for me, mist is ok, but RAIN WILL CANCEL!
Also, There are several parades scheduled for the same night. This posting is for the Sacramento Boat Parade of Lights. If someone in the delta or bay area wants to suggest/host a meetup for the Stockton Boat Parade of Lights (in the Port of Stockton), or any other lighted parade, feel free!
Feel free to use the comments section to arrange carpools.
Don’t miss this unique and spectacular display of holiday lights!