For its 50th anniversary Saturday, Dec. 8, the Marina del Rey Boat Parade will have three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings leading the way.
Manhattan Beach resident Walsh Jennings, who won gold in beach volleyball with teammate Misty May-Teanor in 2004, 2008 and 2012, has been named the grand marshal for the parade’s 50th year. The theme of this year’s event is fittingly, “A Solid Gold Christmas.”
Walsh Jennings began her career on the indoor volleyball court at Stanford University and garnered a number of records before transitioning to the sand where she has become one half of the winningest team in beach volleyball history with partner May-Treanor.
Walsh Jennings was Association of Volleyball Professionals’ Best Offensive and Most Outstanding Player in 2003 and 2007, and only the second player in NCAA history to receive First-Team All-American honors all four seasons while at Stanford (1996 – 1999).
Off the court, Walsh Jennings has formed the “Chase the Stars” foundation, whose mission is to make an immediate and positive impact on the lives of as many children as possible. Walsh and the organization have supported various charity partners from St. Jude, to the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley.
The boat parade will kick off with a traditional fireworks display at 5:55 p.m. Dec. 8, followed by a procession of boats of all sizes decorated festively, circling the main channel from 6 to 8 p.m.
A team of judges will select winners of the following categories: “Best Overall,” “Best Sail,” “Best Power,” “Best Yacht Club,” “Best Organization,” “Best Individual,” “Best Charter,” “Theme,” “Music,” “Band,” “Animation,” “Spirit,” and “Lights.”