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Holiday Boat Parade On South Coast Cancelled Due To COVID-19, But Returns As Online Event

(Santa Barbara Waterfront Department)
A decorated boat from Santa Barbara's annual "Parade Of Lights." COVID-19 concerns turned it into a virtual event this year.

The coronavirus crisis has disrupted a number of traditional holiday season events on the Central and South Coasts, but some are taking place in different forms.

Santa Barbara’s Waterfront Department won’t be able to hold its annual “Parade of Lights,” which normally features a flotilla of small boats covered with holiday lights and decorations. 

But, this year there will be a virtual parade, with the public deciding the winners.  Boat owners can compete in four categories, including power boats, sailboats, commercial fishing boats and all others.  Waterfront Department staff members will visit the decorated boats and take pictures.

On December 18th, the photos will be posted online, and you’ll be able to vote on your favorites.  The winners will be announced December 21st.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.