Spy a parade of 100 boats decked in Christmas Lights

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See a parade of more than 100 boats decked out for the holidays as they traverse Clear Lake and head into Galveston Bay on Saturday, December 14, 2013.

Every Christmas season, for more than 50 years, boat owners in the Bay Area have been gussying up their sailboats and power boats and joining in an entertaining and festive Christmas parade. It’s part sunset cruise, part art car parade, and part Christmas magic. These days, more than 100 sailboats and power boats participate in the parade itself and more than 100,000 spectators show up around the lake and the Bay to take it all in.

Given the long route through Clear Lake, those 100,000 viewers aren’t all in one spot. Although at times it may seem like most of them are along the waterway in Kemah, including the Kemah Boardwalk and old historic Kemah, where the Christmas Boat Lane Parade turns around in Galveston Bay.

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A very rough illustration of the Christmas Boat Lane Parade route

Christmas Boat Lane Parade Route

The parade starts out at 6pm from the South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay Lagoon, following the boat lane through Clear Lake and through the Clear Lake Channel where it exits out into Galveston Bay, before turning back around and heading home. It will take about 45 minutes for the first boat to depart from the South Shore Harbour Marina to reach the Kemah Boardwalk. It’s not a race so expect the boats to float by at a leisurely, lazy pace.

Christmas Boat Lane Viewing Spots

The waterside restaurants on the Kemah Boardwalk and at The Point in Seabrook across the channel are a popular places to to gather and watch the parade. If you’re vying for one of those tables or spots at the bar, you’d best arrive well before sunset. The start of the parade should reach Galveston Bay at approximately 6:45pm.

The League City 52nd Annual Christmas Boat Lane Parade on Clear Lake

Photo courtesy of the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce

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