Boat parade to shed light on holidays

Unbelievable! November is gone, and the holiday whirlwind will speed us through New Year’s. Cayucos and Morro Bay begin their celebrations of the season from Friday through Sunday.

Morro Bay’s Lighted Boat Parade celebrates 40 years of community history and culture. The Chamber of Commerce wisely designed its annual Christmas parade for the bay. It invites boat owners with yachts, dinghies, sport and fishing boats, canoes, kayaks, the Harbor Patrol, party boats and Coast Guard.

Participants decorate with lights and themes — Santa and nativity scenes — and cruise the bay delighting hundreds ashore, everyone waving and shouting, “A Merry Christmas to you, too.”

For 23 years, Morro Bay’s Hermann Family — Dick, Tracy, Miles and Alice — has been the top competitor. Their first $300 lighted Lone Star matured into holiday-themed marvels, including Alice’s blue fish, Rocket Man, Red Baron, Smiley Fish Face, Gummy Bear, Snoopy and Alice’s favorite, the Seahorse.

“The UFO was one of the best because it looked like it hovered as it sailed around the bay,” Dick Hermann said. He recalls “Jolly” riding his motorcycle popping wheelies, SpongeBob and the Christmas Express, a race car revving up and down, Elfus, and last year’s Miles-inspired Low Rider — all cash sweepstakes winners.

What’s this year’s theme? Only the Hermanns know.

Bayside restaurants suggest coming earlier than the 6:30 p.m. parade start on Saturday to get a view table. The Chamber of Commerce will accept entries all week. Call 772-4467.

On Friday, Cayucos celebrates Christmas by the Beach. Gina Spencer, with Lady Spencer’s Gallery and Gifts, worked with the local Chamber of Commerce to rally the Ocean Street businesses to decorate with Christmas lights, offer unique entertainment and stay open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“We’ll have horse carriage rides, raffles, music, Santa photos and specials up and down Ocean Avenue,” Spencer said. “This second-year event keeps growing.”

Also on Friday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., resurrect your holiday spirit at the third annual Morro Bay Christmas in Old Town. Theresa Lockwood, manager of Bohemian Candle, coordinated the merchants.

“Luminaries will brighten Old Town,” she said. “There’s a treasure hunt to win a gift basket, children will perform at my shop, a band at La Maison Bleu and live models at Main Street Boutique. Design your own Christmas tree decoration, listen to a story at the Coalesce bookstore and pose for Santa photos. We’ll personalize gift tags and wrap your holiday purchases.”

On Sunday at sunset, both communities light their community Christmas trees — Morro Bay at City Park and Cayucos at Ocean and D Streets.

’Tis the season — might as well celebrate with community smiles.

Reach Judy Salamacha at 801-1422 or jsalamacha@yahoo.com.