Getting into the Holiday Spirit: 7 Interesting Things to Know About the Marina del Rey Boat Parade

December 14, 2017

Getting into the Holiday Spirit: 7 Interesting Things to Know About the Marina del Rey Boat Parade

The holidays are always a special time for the E&S Ring family. We decorate our offices with tinsel and twinkly lights. We exchange thoughtful gifts with our coworkers to let them know we appreciate their hard work for the year. We encourage each other to give back and stay involved in our local communities. And maybe, just maybe, there are a few Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters involved! All of these examples — both the serious and not-so serious — cut right to the heart of E&S Ring’s values. It’s important to take the initiative in our office and in our neighborhoods while having fun!

One annual holiday endeavor that our company has sponsored is the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, which took place this Saturday, December 9, 2017. This year’s theme was “Let’s Dance!” — and boy, were the boats hopping and popping! (You can view the complete list of winners and gallery of photos, here.) Because we like being actively involved in our neighborhood communities, we currently manage three apartment communities in Marina del Rey — including Esprit, Water’s Edge at Marina Harbor and Mariners Village, we have made it our annual holiday tradition to support this fun and festive harbor event. It’s yet another way we can give back to the Marina del Rey community.

We thought it would be fun to look back on the Marina del Rey Holiday Parade as a long-running holiday tradition, so we compiled a list of some of the most interesting bits of information about it — to get us all into the holiday spirit!

1. It’s an old tradition dating back to 1963.

The very first holiday boat parade happened on a sunny December day in 1963 when a small group of boaters decided to decorate their vessels with Christmas lights and parade around the main channel of the almost-finished harbor. Local volunteers and thoughtful sponsors have kept the parade afloat ever since (forgive the pun).

2. It’s a popular holiday event.

Approximately 25,000 people gather in yards, on boats, in Burton Chace Park (where the announcers are typically set up), Fisherman’s Village, alongside Ballona Creek and just anywhere to view the parade each year.

3. The event is run entirely by volunteers.

A volunteer-run, non-profit group runs the parade with support from corporate and community sponsors — like Today Marina del Rey — in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. It’s such a cool event to be a part of, and we encourage all community members to get involved in any way they can. The Marina del Rey harbor is truly one of L.A.’s best coastal treasures, and we want to continue to support it.

4. There are other things to do besides watch the boats.

The event planners typically add several family-friendly activities. This past weekend, they featured “Snow Wonder,” which brought 80 tons of real snow, Christmas carols and dancing to Burton Chace Park from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, concurrent with the inaugural Marina Lights holiday display.

5. There are also adult things to do too.

A lot of locals and parade participants party on boats or in yacht clubs before, during and after the parade. Local restaurants, like Killer Shrimp, Café Del Rey, SALT, Cast + Plow, The Warehouse and Tony P’s Dockside Grill, usually hop with holiday cheer. This year, Whiskey Red’s hosted an actual parade viewing and after party with a buffet.

6. There are fireworks.

The parade in the harbor typically runs from 6 to 8 p.m., but there is also a pretty stellar fireworks display over the marina’s main channel each year.

7. Some big names have been attached to the parade.

Tony Danza, Dick Van Dyke, Florence Henderson and Kerri Walsh Jennings have had their turn as Grand Marshals of the Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade. This year, Carol Costello — a news anchor and former host of CNN Newsroom who is currently working for HLN in Los Angeles — was the Grand Marshal.


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