The 52nd annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade went off in grand style Saturday, with 63 brightly lit sail and power boats cruising up and down the harbor — the highest number of participants since the new millennium began, said Boat Parade President Cindy Williams.
Last year’s parade included 45 boats, meaning this year’s was 40% larger.
“We definitely had a record year — the best since I’ve been involved, and that’s 16 years,” Williams said.
The theme of this year’s parade was “Happy Birthday Marina del Rey,” in honor of the coming 50th anniversary of the dedication of Marina del Rey on April 10, 1965.
Parade entries blended birthday party and Christmas themes.
Boats with dancing crew members or animated light displays were crowd favorites — including the Peter Ellis- and Colin Kastner-helmed Ellis Island II, which featured a champagne bottle popping open and a fizzy pour into a glass.
Parade judges feted winners in 12 categories:
Best Overall: Bruce Taguchi, Weekend Hooker (photo #1)
Best Power: Walt Schwarz, Blue Belle
Best Sail: Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club, Lady Themis
Best Yacht Club: California Yacht Club, Owen Churchill
Best Individual: Peter Ellis and Colin Kastner, Ellis Island II
Best Organization: Women’s Sailing Assoc., My Time 3 (photo #3)
Animation: 1st Place: Toan Lam (no boat name; photo #2)
Animation: 2nd Place: Rico Stoll, Ocean Rox (photo #4)
Lights: 1st Place: Pacific Mariners Yacht Club, Bula Bula
Lights: 2nd Place: Challenges Foundation and the Girl Scouts, Emerald
Theme: 1st Place: Kevin Michaels, Clueless
Theme: 2nd Place: Greg and Laverne Potter, Valhalla
Music: 1st Place: Challenges Foundation and the Girl Scouts, Emerald
Music: 2nd Place: Lynn and Rita Silverman, Senia Jade
Spirit: 1st Place: Adam Singer, Rybecca
Spirit: 2nd Place: Jim Petretti, Further
Band: 1st Place: Manuel Reyna, What If
Band: 2nd Place: Mitch Niedbalec, Plan B
— Joe Piasecki