For complete coverage of Winterfest (the parent event for the parade) and all other Sausalito Holiday Activities please click here!
2023 Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks
Date: Saturday, December 7, 2024. This event will be held Rain or Shine.
Time for the Lighted 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 5:00, or even earlier. You can get access to different levels of preferred location seats and even an indoor party area by buying one of several kinds of tickets — we have details and links below. The first lighted boats will already be assembling out on the Bay at 5:00.
The VIP seats and parties are nice, but you can also watch the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade for free along much of the Sausalito waterfront. Scroll down to see a map.
Time for the 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.
The Entry Form for Yacht Owners can be found here.
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 the crowds coming for the lighted boat parade keep growing. 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.
Tickets to Special Premium Viewing Areas
Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade viewing and fireworks are free. There is also a special VIP waterfront seating area along the waterfront from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, with special handicap/wheelchair seating areas, that costs $25 per person (click here for tickets), with the ticket proceeds going to charity. Tickets to a nearby premium outdoor viewing area with a bar are also $25.00 and can be ordered via the link in this paragraph (just scroll down on the Eventbrite page).
The VIP Lounge and Captain’s After Party runs 5:00 to 10:00 PM indoors (as in someplace warm) at The Spinnaker, restaurant and costs $125. If you don’t want to enter untill after 8:00 PM, the cost for the later events is only $35, and there will be a live band, dancing and a no-host bar. This part of the evening is also included with the VIP ticket that gets you out of the cold at 5:00 PM. You can buy tickets here by scrolling to the bottom of the window on the screen.
Where to Watch the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks for Free
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 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.