Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights

Christmas is fast approaching and the celebrations are underway! Mark your calendar to attend the annual Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights, a fun spectacle with boats of all shapes and sizes decorated in their finest holiday attire, including lights, ornaments and lots of holiday trimmings. In addition many of the captains and boat crews dress up in their holiday best, with a few jolly Santas joining to take part in the festive parade celebration. Once finished the best decorated powerboat, sailboat and small-craft boats will be awarded prizes and bragging rights. This magical holiday event is something you won’t want to miss!

Event Details 

  • Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023
  • Location: Oceanside Harbor, CA 92054
  • Time: 7pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Contact: Oceanside Yacht Club (760) 722-5751

Insider Tips

The Oceanside Harbor Parade of Lights is a must be at event during the holiday season, so if you plan on attending here are a couple of tips.  

  • Arrive Early. There are a lot of people that will be attending, so give yourself plenty of time to park and walk over to the viewing area.
  • Where to Park? There are several parking lots located throughout Oceanside Harbor, please read all parking signs since each area has different restrictions. Carpooling is encouraged. Give yourself plenty of time to park and walk over to the viewing area. View City of Oceanside Parking Map.
  • Can you bring chairs? Yes, you are allowed to bring your own lawn chairs.  Please do not block walking pathways and be mindful of others viewing the parade.
  • Bring a Blanket and a Jacket.  It can be chilly at night, so make sure to come prepared and bring a blanket, jacket, mittens, and scarves so that you can be nice and warm as you watch the parade.
  • Bring Snacks and Hot Chocolate. Make an evening of it and bring some snacks or hot chocolate with you to enjoy during the parade.  There are several restaurants and shops located within Oceanside Harbor if you would like to dine and watch the event, please call for availability. View Oceanside Harbor Merchants.

See also: Holiday Events and Celebrations in Oceanside

A Glimpse Of What to Expect

Photos by: Zach Cordner, @zachcordner

The Tradition of the Parade of Lights

The Parade of Lights is a tradition in many beach cities and dates back to the early 1900s where Newport Beach is credited with holding the oldest Christmas Boat Parade. This is a tradition that brings hundreds of families to the harbor. One father said, “The kids like the lights, and it’s just a fun thing to do together.” So if you have not yet been, start a new family tradition and get a glimpse of some of these amazing boats.

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