Our Views: Boat Parade of Light is a Havasu holiday tradition

November 30, 2018

You don’t come to Lake Havasu City if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas. But how about a wet one? Few things remind us that the holiday season has arrived in Havasu more than the annual Christmas boat parade. It’s a magical scene repeated year after year: With a slight chill in the air, the bedazzled boats twinkle and sparkle as they proceed, single file, through the Bridgewater Channel and beneath the London Bridge, all to the delight of the bundled crowd watching from the English Village.

Now in its 36th year, the Boat Parade of Lights is an annual labor of love by the London Bridge Yacht Club. The organization’s members do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to organizing the parade, which usually includes a variety of watercrafts from pontoons and speedboats to kayaks and the ever-popular string of sailboats.

Captains and crews of the decorated boats have spent months preparing for the event. Gearing up involves creating a design, stringing thousands of lights and attaching other décor. The night of the parade, the skippers guide their boats through Bridgewater Channel, beginning in Thompson Bay. After cruising through the Channel, the parade forms an almost-perfect circle in the north end bay and re-enters the Channel for an encore performance.

For many families, the boat parade is a holiday tradition. Many spectators head to the channel early to claim the viewing spots they’ve used for years. Fortunately, there’s never a bad seat in the house.

If you’ve never seen the boat parade before, do yourself a favor and spend Friday or Saturday evening at the Bridgewater Channel. The threat of rain should be over by the time the boats hit the water, and it’ll be a chilly – by Havasu standards, anyway – 60-something degrees. No, we won’t have a white Christmas in Lake Havasu City, but if you don’t catch a case of the holiday fuzzies after watching the Boat Parade of Lights, you might just be a Grinch.

— Today’s News-Herald

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