• 2019 San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade 6:00 p.m. Saturday, December 7th

    December 02, 2019
    2019 San Rafael Lighted Boat Parade
    6:00 p.m. Saturday, December 7th
    Lighted boats will again “launch” the holiday season for thousands of Marin families!
    As they have for more than 50 years, Marin families will fill parking lots, businesses and private homes along the San Rafael Canal to enjoy the parade of brightly lit boats.  Thousands of spectators along the route will admire and shout holiday greetings to dozens of beautifully decorated boats as they pass. 
    This year the parade will again be led by Santa, aboard the San Rafael Police Boat the “Mission City.”  He will be followed by boats filled with Holiday revelers.  Parade-watchers along both shores will exchange season’s greetings with boats, many of which will carry singers and be playing music.
    The earliest record of the parade is 1966, when the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce sponsored a daytime parade of boats.  In some years the parade included as many as 80 boats – slowing traffic on Highway 101, and along Third Street and Point San Pedro Road as drivers and passengers slowed or stopped to watch the colorful event. 
    This year’s parade is organized by the Marin Yacht Club, The Loch Lomond Yacht Club, the San Rafael Yacht Club and the Classic Yacht Association.  The popular parade also attracts boats from neighboring yacht clubs and communities throughout the Bay Area.
    The beneficiary of the parade is the San Rafael Santa Cop Program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  Santa Cop is sponsored by the San Rafael Police & Fire Departments, the San Rafael Police & Fire Associations, and International Footprint Association Chapter 15.  Their aim is to make the holidays a little happier for the many children who have no control over their own circumstances.  Santa Cop also strives to create a positive bond between the Police, Fire and families that are part of the community they serve.  Red Barrels for toy collection will be at all San Rafael Fire Stations, including Marinwood Fire and Kentfield Fire, San Rafael City Hall and local businesses which can be found on the website:  www.sanrafaelsantacop.org.  If you would like to help with this year’s Santa Cop Program, contact the Santa Cop Hotline at 415-456-2685 or Santa Cop Email at srsantacop@gmail.com.
    The San Rafael Canal is an important commercial and recreational waterway and a treasured asset of the San Rafael and Marin County communities.  It serves as a flood control mechanism, and is used by the police and fire departments for rescue and fire-fighting.  The annual boat parade helps draw attention to the canal and the importance of maintaining the canal for public safety, residential, commercial, and recreational purposes. For more information about supporting the Canal, contact Nadine Urciuoli, president of the San Rafael Channel Association, at nadine@helmutsmarine.com
    Rain or shine -- The parade will begin as boats converge at the east end of the San Rafael Canal, across from Pickleweed Park at 6:00 p.m.  The San Rafael police boat “Mission City” will emerge from the Marin Yacht Club marina to lead the parade.  Boats will proceed east along the Canal to the Turning Basin behind Montecito Shopping Center, and back to Pickleweed Park.
    Dress warmly and share in this wonderful, free, community holiday celebration.
    Carrie Walsh, Marketing