1st Place Winner of Lighted Boat Parade 2021
Close to 10,000 on-lookers lined the Embarcadero to enjoy the 2021 Morro Bay Rotary Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 4th.  The weather was reminiscent of the holidays, a beautiful evening with a chill in the air.  Crowds filled the restaurants, the balconies and sidewalks to watch the parade of 22 decorated boats ranging in size from 17 to 71 feet.  Local non-profits including Central Coast Women for Fisheries, Knights of Columbus, Lion’s and Rotary served up chili, sausages, cookies, and hot chocolate that was quickly sold out.
Rotarians John Solu and Melissa Davis announced and described the boats as they passed by the judges: John Headding, Jillian Montgomery, Sue Olivas, Dean Sullivan, and Michael Wambolt.  First Prize of $500 went to the Persistence owned by Nick Taron from Morro Bay.  The sleigh decorations with a giant reindeer and carolers dressed like elves caught the eyes of the judges.  Second Prize of $350 went to the Wake-n-Bake owned by Mike Leal from Paso Robles and the Third Prize of $150 went to the Western Explorer owned by Roy Arnold of Paso Robles.  Boats were decorated to look like whales, seahorses, Christmas trees, snowflakes and Santa flying a plane.  The Bay was filled with thousands of glittering, colorful lights everywhere including sailing masts lighted high into the night sky.
While the Morro Bay White Caps Band played, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted a never-ending line of children, parents, and dogs at the Rotary Santa House.  Complimentary photos with Santa were given to families along with each child choosing a gift to take home with them.
Rotary President Tim Olivas mused that “Yes, it was a great showing for the Lighted Boat Parade!  Good to see some semblance of life returning to semi-normal”.  Children were happy, boats were beautiful and residents and tourists were thrilled to spend the evening on the Morro Bay waterfront.
Big THANK YOU to Jude Long for providing this article, picture, and all of the publicity she did for the Lighted Boat Parade.