The Maritime Report: Lighted Yacht Parade

The Maritime Report: Lighted Yacht Parade

Dave Bloch

Photos by Dave Bloch.

Happy Thanksgivukkah! Thanksgiving comes as late as it can this year, and the Hebrew calendar pushes Chanukkah (however you want to spell it) about as early as it can go. So I'm seeing and hearing recipes for latkes this year, along with the usual "how to cook a turkey" stories.

I will not go through those things here, except to say that our boat's small galley could never handle the mess of spattered hot oil caused by frying potato latkes! But feel free to cover your kitchen with towels or plastic and give it a try. (I'm not kidding; a search for latke information brought up a page entitled "We latke these grease cleaning tips a lot.")


The annual Lighted Yacht Parade is a boating event that EVERYONE can enjoy. You don't need a boat, and admission is free. Just bundle up in something nice and warm and take your family to either side of the estuary at 5:30 p.m. December 7 and watch this amazing parade of brightly-lit boats! The theme this year is "Global Holidays, a Winter Celebration," so expect to see an international flavor in the lights and decorations. Some of the boats even have performers on deck, dancing or singing! You never know what you'll find.

This is the 37th year for the parade, which is sponsored by the Oakland and Encinal yacht clubs as a fundraiser for Oakland Firefighters Random Acts and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Last year's event generated nearly $4,500 in cash, toy and food donations to help deserving kids and families during the holiday season.

So how do you watch? On our side, drive over to the Wind River campus on Atlantic Avenue. Park in one of the nearby office lots and walk out onto the waterfront park between the Wind River buildings and Encinal Yacht Club. (I'll bet you didn't even know that was there, did you?) Or you can go to the other side and watch from Jack London Square. A detailed Google satellite photo map is at

If you'd like to be nice and warm, get a reservation at one of the waterfront restaurants: Scott's, Kincaid's, the Waterfront Hotel or the Pasta Pelican. If you have a friend at the sponsoring Oakland or Encinal yacht clubs, you might see if they're going to come and watch from there!

A really special way to see the parade is to RIDE IN IT on the Alameda/Oakland ferry! It leaves from the Alameda Main Street dock at 5:15 p.m. and returns at 6:45 p.m. Adults tickets are $6.25; kids ages 5 to 12 are $3.50, but BRING A TOY to donate and you'll ride for free!

This event is really fun, and it is right on your doorstep. Try it out this year; it may become one of your favorite family traditions.

Lots of information at


As I've written here before, I have been on the City of Alameda America's Cup committee since its creation by the City Council nearly two years ago. On November 7, Committee Chair Christopher Seiwald presented our final report to the council. The presentation gave a brief overview of the Cup event and how it changed from the original plans (in particular, became much smaller), the creation of our committee, the work and accomplishments of the committee, and some recommendations for the future. In particular, it was pointed out that Alameda was far more successful than any other Bay Area city outside of San Francisco in attracting revenue-generating activity, including the rental of two Alameda Point hangars by Artemis Racing and Luna Rossa Challenge, with the subsequent positive impacts on a wide range of Alameda businesses.

Because the Cup was won by Oracle Team USA, the possibility exists for the 35th America's Cup regatta to be held back in San Francisco Bay. As a result, the committee recommended that it continue to function at least until that decision has been made, which should happen in early 2014. The committee also recommended that Alameda leverage its new exposure in the world sailing community by promoting our facilities to support other sailing events. (The "Clipper Round the World Race," for example, pulls into the Bay in May 2014.) The Seaplane Lagoon, used by Artemis and Luna Rossa this year, could make a fine staging area for other international racing boats that pass through.

Mayor Marie Gilmore was very gracious with her comment after the report, saying: "I think when we all set off to do this, some of us didn't know of what to expect. And I have to say that you folks have exceeded our wildest expectations."

It was a great evening for our committee, which really did work hard on fulfilling its mission. You can see the 21-minute presentation for yourself at

Have a great holiday! And if you would like to add a bit of Chanukkah cheer to your Thanksgiving, don't miss the article from this past Monday's Alamedan about Alameda's very own Dreidel Factory. Their website says these are available at Daisy's on Park Street; personally I wouldn't miss the chance to have a handmade wooden dreidel of your very own.


Submitted by Donna Eyestone on Fri, Nov 29, 2013

I know there are limited numbers of Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it would sure be nice if the Lighted Yacht Parade (which I love) didn't conflict with the City's Tree Lighting Ceremony (which I love). If the Lighted Yacht Parade started even 1/2 hour later it would make it possible for us to attend both events, making for about the best Alameda Saturday for our family!