activity-dine activity-more activity-play activity-shop activity-stay arrow-leftarrow-rightArtchevron-downchevron-rightchevron-up close download email gridlistlocationmime-default mime-link mime-pdf mime-video Parkspin search social-facebook social-flickr social-instagram social-linkedin social-pinterest social-rss social-twitter social-youtube berth-request-form blue-economy boat-launches breakbulk contact-the-port cruise-information current-rfps dine docks-and-anchorages drybulk economic-impact events faqs green-business-network harbor-police job-opportunities live-vessel-tracking news play port-events public-meetings refrigerated-avocados refrigerated-bananas refrigerated-pineapple shop stay tenant-resources tidelands-activation-program view-bidding-opportunities commercial-vessels current-conditions directions fact security agendas calendar cruise documents information jobs map meeting minutes notification parking permits reporting reports reservation rfps rules tap vendors video-play weather-cloudy weather-partly-cloudy weather-rainy weather-sunny weather zoom Skip to main content
General Press Releases

53rd Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights Celebrates Christmas Traditions Around the World!

It’s that time of year again! San Diego Bay will transform into a holiday wonderland on Sunday, December 10 and Sunday, December 17, 2023, for the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Sponsored by the Port of San Diego each year, the boat parade is one of the most anticipated holiday events in the San Diego region.  

This is the 53rd year that the parade will entertain nearly 100,000 spectators around the bay with another dazzling array of lit up and decorated vessels. Approximately 80 decorated vessels will take part in the procession to reflect this year’s theme “Christmas Traditions Around the World!”

“The Port of San Diego is proud to sponsor the 53rd Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This year we are excited to announce that the judging of the parade will take place at the pier at Cesar Chavez Park. This helps nearby residents get into the holiday spirit and connect with their bayfront.” 

On both dates, the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Shelter Island. The route then proceeds to Harbor Island, the North and South Embarcadero areas, Cesar Chavez Park Pier, and ends at the Ferry Landing on Coronado. The entire procession takes about one and a half to two hours. 

Below are the approximate arrival times at each location:
•    Shelter Island (start of parade)          5:30 p.m.
•    Harbor Island                                     6:15 p.m.
•    The Embarcadero                              6:45 p.m.
•    Seaport Village                                  7:15 p.m.
•    The Pier at Cesar Chavez Park         7:30 p.m.
•    Ferry Landing on Coronado              7:45 p.m.

The best locations to take in this incredible event are Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Broadway Pier, Embarcadero Marina Parks North and South, Cesar Chavez Park and Pier, finally heading west and ending at the Coronado Ferry Landing. There is no cost to view the parade. 

The parade is sponsored through the Port’s Tidelands Activation Program (TAP). The program sponsors community-based events that help connect members of our Portside communities with their bayfront. These events take place at Port parks and venues in the five member cities which include Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, and San Diego. 

For more details on the parade and to view a map of the parade route, please visit 

About THE Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.