Lighted Boat Parade 2021

BYC Holiday Celebration


The Bellingham Yacht Club kicked off the holidays in style with the traditional Lighted Boat Parade on December 4, 2021. The public viewed the boats from Boulevard Park and the Fairhaven Cruise Terminal and the public's appreciation is summed up in a letter  dated December 5th:

"To the Captains, Judges, and Coordinators of the “Christmas Ships” 12/4/21 Bellingham WA Bay,

Thank you so very much for all your time, energy, and money you put into this wonderful event! 

Such a “cheer-up” at this crazy pandemic time!  Seeing your boats parade back and forth on the bay made my burdens lighter and I truly thank you for giving all of us a super “High Five”!

Merry Christmas"


Winners of "Best in Show" are Dan and Ariane Ringler


Boat participation was open to all boaters and members of other boating organizations, including Bellingham Wheel and Keel, Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron, and the Corinthian and Squalicum Yacht Clubs participate.

2021 Lighted Boat Parade

"Winter Nights, Magical Lights" theme

Date:  Saturday December 4, 2021


Participation:  Open to any vessel who registers with BYC online or at the clubhouse prior to Friday Dec 3.  There is no fee required to participate.


Safety:  Each skipper is responsible for the safety of his vessel and crew and should base his decision to participate on the weather conditions at the time of the parade. Boats withdrawing from the parade should notify the BYC Fleet Captain. If conditions are deemed to be too severe for the overall safety of the event, an announcement will be made on VHF channel 72 by 5:30 p.m.


Registration:  Please complete the registration form online and obtain your boat number card at the BYC lounge between 3:30 and 5:00 p.m day of parade. You must have a number to be eligible for the awards.


Number Cards:  Pick up your boat number the day of the parade 3:30 to 5 at the club house. You must be registered and have your number displayed on your boat to be eligible for awards. Display your card on the STARBOARD side of your boat, clearly visible as you will be rounding the review boat to starboard. Please return your numbers to the BYC immediately following the parade on Saturday.


Time:  Boats away at 1730 (5:30) on Saturday. All boats will rendezvous near the Bellingham Cruise terminal at 1800 (6:00) on Saturday for the parade start.


Course:  Coursee will make two passes in front of Boulevard Park and the judges’ boat (Luna, a Nordic Tug 42). You must pass the judges’ boat to starboard. PLEASE ANNOUNCE YOUR NUMBER ALOUD AS YOU PASS THE JUDGES’ BOAT. Click to see the course.


Order of March:  Lead boat will be Tinka, with all others falling in behind and Jim Haines bringing up the rear.

Communications:  Channel 72 VHF will be used and monitored during the event.


Judging Criteria:  Holiday Spirit, Creativity and Technique/Visibility. All decisions of the judges are final.


Awards:  The following categories will be given awards:  Lighted Boat of the Year, Best of Parade, Novice Grand Prize and Community Award. All participants will receive a participation plaque at registration.


Party and Awards:  All participants are welcome to attend our Soup Kitchen in the BYC lounge on Saturday immediately following the parade. The BYC lounge will be open and there will be a free soup. Awards will be announced after the meal.  (this will change to some food not pot luck)

Need some help preparing your boat?

For those new to the parade or who need a refresher on safety measures and the mechanics of “how to” light your boat, Past Commodore Steve Ross will do a presentation explaining the steps needed for a fun evening. November 17, 2021 in the Ward Room at 6 pm and on Zoom. Email Fleet Captain 

Thank you to our Sponsors

West Marine