Annapolis, MD: Lighted Yacht Parade

There were a lot of Christmastime-only events I wanted to do around the area, and this yacht parade in Annapolis was one of them. It's a one-night-only big deal type of event in Annapolis. There were around 50 yachts attending and hundreds and hundreds of people lining any open space along the waterfront. (See the 2012 brochure here.)

We got there a little later than planned - the website suggested parking at a hotel and taking a free shuttle over to the waterfront, so we parked at that hotel and waited 20 minutes for a shuttle that never came. So we ended up walking the mile or so over to the waterfront area (luckily, we had been to Annapolis before, and at least recognized the main touristy area once we got to it) and wound up missing the big "all the lights turn on" moment. But that's okay, because the next couple of hours were pretty cool.

After getting to the main area, we turned right and went along sort of the backside of the area until we found the main drawbridge. The way the show works is half the boats are on one side of the marina and the other half are on the other -- and the drawbridge is what separates them. Halfway through the show, the yachts switch sides while the drawbridge is open. Somehow we managed to get a great spot on the correct side of the bridge (if you cross to the other side, you'll get stuck over there while all the yachts pass through)!

So we had a great spot to view all the boats, since we could see all the yachts from each side as they passed through while the bridge was up in the middle of the show.

My favorites were the one above, the glasses pouring out champagne, and the one below, a lighthouse that was really flashing like an actual lighthouse. There was also a marriage proposal one that I didn't get a picture of, but it was sweet!

The train below was stopped in front of us for what seemed like forever as it waited to go through the drawbridge. It made all kinds of actual train noises.

And this yacht had Rudolph in the very front on a different tiny boat!

I was really happy we went. It wasn't too cold, but there were a lot of people and dogs around to keep you warm. A lot of the yachts were creative and pretty. Oh, and it was free, not counting parking!
Annapolis, MD: Lighted Yacht Parade Annapolis, MD: Lighted Yacht Parade Reviewed by Maria on 3:09:00 PM Rating: 5


  1. I love this area of Maryland and the lights on the water must have been amazing!

  2. That looks fun!
    We always like going to Long Beach Ca and watching the parade of boats.


    1. I bet the parade in California is significantly warmer than in Maryland! :) Sounds nice!


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