Tree Lighting and Boat Parade on Tap

Alameda Boat

Holiday festivities on the Island kick into high gear today.

Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, there’s the Mayor’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony that runs through 6:15 p.m. at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave. The event will be held rain or shine.

Performers at the event include the Alameda Community Band, Oakland Youth Chorus, Dancing Christmas Trees and the Mistle Tones. (There’s also the possibility that a visitor from the North Pole will drop by with candy canes.)

Alameda Municipal Power asks community members to exchange two strings of old holiday lights for two free strings of new energy-efficient LED lights, while supplies last.

The 37th annual Lighted Yacht Parade on the Alameda-Oakland Estuary starts at dusk or at about 5:30 p.m. also on Saturday, Dec. 7.
This year’s parade theme is Global Holidays, a Winter Celebration.

Those wishing to catch the San Francisco Bay Ferry–which offers a special ferry service for the event–should get to the Main Ferry Terminal, 2990 Main Street, in Alameda by about 5 p.m. The trip on the Estuary begins at 5:15 p.m. and ends at 6:45 p.m.

Those bringing unwrapped toys to donate to the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts toy drive can ride the ferry for free.

Last year, 35 sailboats and powerboats participated in the event, which is put on jointly by the Encinal Yacht Club and the Oakland Yacht Club. It generated nearly $2,000 in cash donations and $2,500 in toy and food donations.

The special Lighted Yacht Parade ferry service is only available from the Alameda Main Street ferry terminal located at 2990 Main Street. The ferry departs from Main Street at 5:15 p.m. and returns to the terminal at 6:45 p.m.

As in past years, the ferry service is collecting toys onboard for the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts Toys program. As a special thank you, customers donating a toy may ride the parade ferry for free.

Janet Levaux