For complete coverage of Winterfest (the parent event for the parade) and all other Sausalito Holiday Activities please click here!
2017 Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017. This event will be held Rain or Shine.
Time: The Boat Parade is listed as starting at 5:30 PM this year, but tradition says that the actual front of the line will start moving closer to 6:00.
Fireworks: Once the boat parade flotilla members have all begun their journey, the fireworks start, so time varies based on number of entries, how far they’ve gone before the fireworks start, weather etc. Fireworks can start quite early or somewhat late year to year, so plan accordingly.
After-Party: 7:30 – 11:00 PM at The Spinnaker (ticket required, see below)
Insiders Tip: We advise arriving early since fireworks have begun early many years, but there have also been years when they started later than planned because of boat parade delays. Dress warmly because there is no tent this year, all seating will be outside and it could be very cold.
Cost: Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade viewing and fireworks are free. There is also a special VIP seating area along the waterfront where tickets are $25 for VIP seating or $75 for both VIP area and After-Party, with the proceeds going to charity.
Changes This Year: The morning activities, festivities in the big tent and the big tent itself are not part of this year’s event. The lighted boat parade and fireworks are the centerpiece of the Holidays in Sausalito and remain unchanged. The after-party that was previously in the big tent is now in the banquet area at The Spinnaker restaurant (details below).
This year is the 30th 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: (Yes, we’ve mentioned this twice because we froze our butts off one year with the kids when we dressed too lightly.) Be sure to bundle up, especially for children, since some years it’s downright cold for the event.
VIP Captain’s After-Party
If all the excitement has you feeling so great you want to keep the party going, there’s a party to go to 7:30 – 11:00 PM at The Spinnaker Restaurant. There will be live music from prestigious local band Rumors, dancing and hosted beer and wine, and all entrants must be 21 or over, and a portion of the proceeds go to charity. You can buy tickets for both the parade seating and the after-party here.
Where to Watch the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Insiders Tip: In addition to the VIP viewing area, 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 the bay-side of 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 spot 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 5:45 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.