For complete coverage of Winterfest (the parent event for the parade) and all other Sausalito Holiday Activities please click here!
2016 Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016. This event will be held Rain or Shine.
Time: Boat Parade 6:30 PM
Fireworks: After the boat parade has all begun their journey, so time varies based on number of entries, how far they’ve gone before the fireworks start, weather etc. We advise arriving early since fireworks have begun as early as 6:45 PM.
Cost: Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade viewing and fireworks are free.
The adjacent Big Tent (in front of The Spinnaker) opens at 5:00 PM with live music and offers us the chance to watch the boat parade in a warmer spot. Admission costs $25, with the proceeds going to charity. You can also buy a $75 VIP Ticket to gain access to a special area in the tent with food, a hosted bar and a private VIP viewing area for the Lighted Boat Parade. Most importantly, the tent is heated! More details about Winterfest and The (heated) Big Tent are in the Winterfest section here.
This year is the 29th edition of the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade, which has become a Holiday tradition for adults and kids in Sausalito and across the Bay Area. In a typical year about 40 decorated boats compete for a variety of prizes
Leading the parade and serving as Grand Marshal each year (and broadcasting Christmas music) is a yacht with James Gabbert, KOFY TV 20 Founder and celebrated Dance Party host.
Insiders Tip: Be sure to bundle up, especially for the kids, since some years it’s downright cold for the event.
Where to Watch the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Insiders Tip: In addition to the viewing area inside the Winterfest Tent (more details here), you can make reservations early to see the action from a warm and comfy seat at one of Sausalito’s view restaurants:
— In the Caledonia Street area (those with addresses on Bridgeway will have views, but those with addresses on Caledonia itself will not)
— Near the ferry pier in downtown Sausalito, and
— On the Bridgeway Promenade.
The best outdoor viewing spots (apart from the big Winterfest Tent) with lots of good places to sit is Gabrielson Park just north of the Sausalito Ferry Pier (see map below), and this is also a great spot to see the fireworks. Additional viewing all along main Sausalito waterfront area, especially on the Bridgeway Promenade.
Insiders Tip: As with our Fourth of July Fireworks, the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade draws a lot of visitors in cars from outside Sausalito. Arriving at 6:15 PM may place you in a jam of traffic as everyone looks for parking. We advise visitors to come early and enjoy the evening. We also advise locals to have enough food and diapers in the house because it’ll be hard to get to the store when Bridgeway goes into gridlock 30 minutes before the fireworks start and doesn’t clear till an hour later!
The Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade starts at foot of Harbor Drive just north of the Bay Model in the Marinship North area and then goes south past the Caledonia St. / New Town area, but best viewing is in Downtown / Ferry Pier and Bridgeway Promenade. The parade ends off of the boardwalk in Old Town.
The blue line on the map below shows the area where you can watch the lighted boat parade.