Boat Parade Back in Running for Nation's Best Holiday Parade

The Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade attracts up to 40 boats of all shapes and sizes.

For the third time, the Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade in Annapolis is nominated for Best Holiday Parade in America, to be chosen by USA Today readers. And organizers are hoping to get your vote.

The 2018 event will be Saturday, December 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. Skippers circle the waterfront in two fleets: one circling in front of Eastport, the City Dock and the Naval Academy seawall, the other circling the length of Spa Creek, inside the bridge.

The Lights Parade has been ringing in the holiday season in Annapolis for more than 30 years. Boaters bundle up to participate in the parade or spectate. Waterfront restaurant tables book up months ahead of time. And a lot of people simply stand on the Spa Creek bridge into Eastport, bravely weathering whatever the December night might bring.

The spectacle receives national attention each year, and this time, it is nominated for the USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice Holiday Parades in America. Fans can go online and vote for their favorite holiday parade nationwide. You can vote once a day, every day, from now until December 8. To vote, click here.

The EYC parade is up against an impressive group, including the one and only Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. There are also a few other Bay-region parades in the running: The Mayor’s Annual Christmas Parade in Baltimore, the Reston Holiday Parade in Reston, Virginia, and the Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Alexandria.

In 2016, the Lights Parade was named #1, and in 2017, it came in fourth place.           

For those who can’t make it to Eastport in person, EYC is bringing back the Lights Parade Livestream. There will be a link to the watch the parade streaming live on the yacht club’s website (click here).

-Meg Walburn Viviano