The Morro Bay Boat Parade 

By Josie Mewes 

December 20, 2023

Morro Bay's annual boat parade event took place on Saturday December 2nd. The cherished tradition between friends and family is always a great experience that brings the community together to celebrate the official time to get festive for the holidays. The parade started after sundown and the festive christmas lights started to stand out against the dark bay. Many families lined the Embarcadero, all bundled up, when the boats start to go by. There weren't many boats this year as boat owners have found it hard to get back into the parade after covid, but the ones that were in the show definitely carried well, with vibrant colors and creative displays. Each boat was turned into art, with some playing music. There were boats with Christmas trees and Santas but some of my favorite things to see are the whale boat with the working fin and the boats with little kids yelling “Merry Christmas!” as everybody on the Embarcadero collectively yells back “Merry Christmas!”, as well as the Christmas lights beautifully reflecting on the dark water. 

The bay is a special place for locals, so we cherish the boat parade. It is a shared experience of unity whether you are on a boat or watching from the Embarcadero.  Workers at the Dress Your Soul shop said it is good to see all the people bonding and it's good for business as it brings the tourists and locals together. The Dress Your Soul shop was giving out free hot chocolate or tea. Strangers gather by the water drinking their hot cocoa, who are there to enjoy the festive holiday season. There are lots of opportunities to meet new people and bridge together experiences in our diverse community, that seems to be something our community is good at. All in all, the annual boat parade is not just a chance to watch and experience the beautiful boats, it's also a chance to celebrate our community, our traditions and the holidays. I am glad we get to appreciate how the 2023 annual Morro Bay Boat Parade brings magic to our community.