For complete coverage of Winterfest (the parent event for the parade) and all other Sausalito Holiday Activities please click here!
2021 Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Date: TBD, but we expect it to definitely be back post-COVID!. This event will be held Rain or Shine.
Time: The Boat Parade is listed as starting at 6:00 PM this year, but if you want to get a good viewing spot and bundle up well I’d try to get positioned around 5:30, or even earlier. The lighted boats will already be assembling out on the Bay.
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. Dress warmly if you’re going to be outside, since it could be very cold.
After-Party: 7:30 – 11:00 PM at The Spinnaker (this is a charity fundraising event, ticket required, see below)
Insiders Tip: We advise arriving early since a) fireworks start times vary, and b) Bridgeway, the only major route into and out of Sausalito, gets packed on both of the annual fireworks nights and if you don’t come in early the parking and traffic hassles could make you miss some or all of the show. Scroll down for our suggestions on the best free places to watch the festivities.
Cost: Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade viewing and fireworks are free. There is also a special VIP seating area along the waterfront, with the ticket proceeds going to charity.
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.
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.