Lighted Ships Parade

Thank You Poulsbo for making the 2019
50th Lighted Ships Parade
A Huge Success!

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Poulsbo Yacht Club Lighted Ships Parade.  As a result of achieving this milestone, the City of Poulsbo has declared December 14 "Poulsbo Yacht Club Lighted Ships Parade Day"! 
Click here to view the photos and videos of the 2019 Lighted Ships Parade.
Each year, Rudolph (the red nose reindeer) leads Santa through the local waters of Puget Sound with greetings to those along the parade route (see route below). You are invited to send Santa a request for  your own greeting to those you know along on the parade route. Send your greeting request before noon on Friday December 13 to
If you know of anyone who wants a greeting from Santa, ask them to email Santa at before noon on Friday December 13.  Your greeting request should include:
  • The name of the person to receive the greeting from Santa
  • The location/address of where that person will be during the parade (i.e. standing at the Poulsbo Waterfront Gazebo)
  • The content of the message - which doesn't have to be holiday related (i.e.  "Katie, Great job helping your brother with his math homework!', etc.)
Your Participation: In honor of this milestone, we are inviting our boating friends and neighbors to join us and fill the night with lighted ships.  Please consider decorating your boat and being a part of this wonderful event that has become a holiday tradition for our community.
   Port of Poulsbo Visitor Slip Assignments 
We have partnered with the Port of Poulsbo which is providing 2 nights of complimentary Moorage (Friday and Saturday, Dec 13 & 14) for lighted ship participants.  We will also be hosting a dinner on Friday night at PYC for the parade participants. 
To participate, register your “lighted ship” to receive a parade boat number assignment for judging click here or email to sign up! 
We continue to emphasize safety, so please sign up early online so we can get you the “BOAT LIGHTING AND COURSE SAFETY HANDOUT.”  Mandatory Captains’ meeting/s will be held 12/14/19  (details will be sent to Ship Captains regarding time and mandatory meeting location/s.)
As with any on-the-water event, weather conditions may impact timing and/or cancellation.  For up to date information follow us on Facebook.
Parade Route: The Parade leaves from outside the PYC Marina at 5:00 pm ( note: times are approximate).
  • 5:00 p.m. proceed directly to downtown Poulsbo.
  • 5:30 p.m. Head south, following the west side of Liberty Bay, to Keyport
  • 7:40 p.m. Cross to Manzanita Bay and up the west side of Bainbridge Island through Agate Pass to the Suquamish dock
  • 8:20 p.m. Return back down the west side of Agate Pass to Point Bolin
  • 9:15 p.m. North to Lemolo and the east side of Liberty Bay passing Liberty Bay Marina – parade ends.
  • Click here for ROUTE MAP
Also, it is perfectly acceptable to just do a portion of the parade!
After Parade:
  • Ship Captains & Crews: When decorated boat parade participants return to the PYC Marina or your Port of Poulsbo slip, we will gather at the PYC Clubhouse to present the awards, have some mulled wine, and share the leftover snacks from our boats.
  • Shoreline parade viewers:  Enjoy the hospitality of Poulsbo merchants and music of the season
Call (360) 930-9129 and leave a message if you have any questions.   

Lighted Ships Parade History

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Poulsbo Yacht Club's Lighted Ships Parade. It started as a way to demonstrate the club's "community spirit" in 1969. The parade of "our beautifully decorated Christmas Ship was lead by Casey Kaesemeyer's  "Joanne K." That year the club's Ships "cruised for four evenings playing carols and delighting children with personal messages along the way" (as noted in the 1970 PYC Yearbook article titled "1969 Year in Review"). The early 1970's "fuel crisis almost caused the Christmas Ship Parade to be cancelled. After much debate, and many letters and telephone calls from the public, the event went ahead with only 5 boats" (as noted in the club's history by Jean Niemeier).

Other Festivities

The merchants of the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association and other community organizations are also participating by providing
  • Hot coco & cookies in Waterfront Park - Downtown Poulsbo
  • Youth choir singing
  • TubaChristmas will perform, as well as
  • Performances by Poulsbo Community Orchestra's very own Viking Brass
Other information: