Get Into the Holiday Spirit With the Santa Barbara Parade of Lights

Are you planning a trip to California this December? Kick off the holiday season with the Santa Barbara Parade of Lights! Each year, hundreds of families gather to watch a fleet of decorated boats glide along the Santa Barbara Harbor. A dazzling fireworks show, ten tons of “snow,” and photos with Santa are just a few things you can expect when you attend. Whether you decide to participate in the parade or watch from the shore, this event will become your new Christmas tradition. Here’s what you need to know about the 2017 Parade of Lights!

After the Santa Barbara Parade of Lights, we invite you to come relax at Cheshire Cat Inn. Make sure to view our complimentary vacation guide for a complete list of things to do in the area. It’s full of information about the best dining, nightlife, and holiday events in Santa Barbara, CA!

How To Experience the Santa Barbara Parade of Lights

Pre-Parade Festivities

This year’s pre-parade festivities begin on Sunday, December 10th at 3 p.m. Before the parade, head over to Santa’s Village on the pier for tons of family fun. Kids can play in heaps of snow, listen to holiday music, and even visit with Santa himself. The first 200 children to arrive will also receive free goody bags from Santa’s helpers. Make sure to get there early and don’t forget to bring your camera; while you are there, you’ll have plenty of great opportunities to take a family photo for your Christmas card!

2017 Santa Barbara Christmas Parade Information

The 32nd Annual Santa Barbara Parade of Lights kicks off at 5:30 p.m. The event is free, so bring all your friends and family with you. We recommend watching the parade on Stearns Wharf to enjoy one of the best views on the water. One by one, you can watch as the boats light up the water and drift down the coastline to the theme of Hollywood Holidays. There are 25 30 boats in this year’s parade, and each is more impressive than the last. Be sure to cheer them all on as they float by!

Judges stationed throughout the wharf will rate the Christmas decorations. Winning boats are awarded donated cash and prizes in five different categories. Pick out your favorites and see if they win the grand prize! After the last boat sails by, make sure to look up. This exciting night concludes with a short fireworks show to send you off with a bang.

Stay at Cheshire Cat Inn

When searching for accommodations near the Santa Barbara Parade of Lights, look no further than Cheshire Cat Inn! Our elegant bed and breakfast is just a 10-minute drive from Stearns Wharf and has everything you need for a memorable getaway. Each of our rooms, suites, and cottages offer the very best amenities for a comfortable stay. Start off each morning with a delicious homemade breakfast. Then, unwind with a complimentary wine tasting each evening. Check our availability and book your stay today. We can’t wait to welcome you!