Christmas Ships Parade on the Columbia River

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A Clark County Tradition for 59 Years.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s Christmastime! What a wonderful time to relax and take in all the beauty our community has to offer, especially after dark. Not only do our neighborhoods light up, but so does the Columbia River. One of the most unique Christmas lighting displays around Clark County starts this Friday, December 6, 2013. It’s time for the 59th Annual Christmas Ships Parade!

The Christmas Ship Parade started out as one lone sailboat, and now the fleet averages 55 to 60 ships (between the Columbia River and Willamette River fleets) adorned with Christmas lights and decorations, and will be on parade every night beginning December 6 and ending December 21, 2013 (with the exception of Monday, December 9th, when the Christmas Ships will not run). The parade begins at approximately 7 pm and lasts about two hours. The only thing that will cancel the parade would be unsafe weather or water conditions.

The Christmas Ship Parade has become a family tradition for many boat owners, and the Skippers pay for their own decorations and fuel costs, for the enjoyment of all. As this is an all volunteer organization, not all ships make it out every night. There are many places along the Vancouver Waterfront to view the Christmas Ship Parade, some inside and some outside. For a complete daily schedule for the Columbia River, including maps and indoor and outdoor viewing locations, click here.


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