Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade sparkles with nautical charm

1. Lynn and Rita Silverman’s Senia Jade stood out as the “Best Individual” boat
2. Pacific Mariners Yacht Club’s group entry “Great White Christmas” won its category and hosted a shiver of sharks
3. Bobby Zullo’s Malaga took home the award for “Best Lights”
Photos by Pat Reynolds

It was a bright and clear evening for the 56th Annual Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade, which took place on Saturday night.

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn served as grand marshal of the parade, whose theme “Holiday Water Wonderland” invited scores of boats to dress up in their nautical best.

Spectators huddled along the shoreline of Burton Chace Park could see a number of fantastical sights and illuminations. A neon mermaid flew high from the mast of one sailboat, happy humans dressed as sharks danced upon the decks of a vessel dubbed “Great White Christmas,” and a brilliantly lit up blue whale spouted water from one yacht. (Snow flurries even burst from another.)

The Women’s Sailing Association made a splash with a slew of skippers dressed as dancing penguins and Peter Ellis’ Ellis Island II brought the Aloha spirit with a live Hawaiian band and light up volcano that gushed sparks of red light from its festooned mast.

Payan Manavi’s disco-themed Stiletto ultimately took home the best in show, but there were some boats that defied categorization. Scantily clad go-go boys sporting only speedos and Santa hats shimmied on one vessel and winged unicorns decorated the bow of another, which floated like a snowy, sparkly island on the water.

“Frankly, I think this is a water wonderland all the time,” said Councilman Mike Bonin, who judged and attended his first ever Marina del Rey Holiday Boat Parade on Saturday.  “It was good to see it with a little extra holiday spirit.”

—Christina Campodonico