This holiday season, Ventura Harbor Village will sparkle, dazzle and twinkle in a display of colored eye candy that visitors will find irresistible. Merely being there is certain to brighten spirits for the light and colors that illuminate the way to celebrations of 43rd Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights Fireworks, Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace, and Santa Paddle. The Village offers an experiential something for everyone’s Christmas list. It’s the most wonderful time of the year all month long. The Village has two hotels from which to choose for visitors wanting to experience, non-stop, the holiday vibe. Four Points Sheraton in Ventura Harbor offers easy access to Ventura Harbor Village, and all of Ventura; Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites overlooks the Harbor and sunsets. For reservations, visit Ventura Harbor Village Hotels
Annual Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights & Fireworks Decks the Decks with Brilliant Lights and Designs
It’s a “wow” moment when spectators get their first view of the fabulous bedecked boats parading their stuff at the 43nd Annual Ventura Harbor Parade of Lights and Fireworks, Friday December 13th & Saturday December 14th 6:30-8pm. Vivid and bright, the procession of decorated boats and festive décor is a spectacle to behold. Everyone is invited to kick off this year’s “SEAing is Believing” themed boat parade that pays homage to all things imaginary and magical – www.VenturaHarbor Village.com.
The two-day celebration includes illuminated power and sail boats as they cruise around the entire Harbor not once, but twice, kiddie carnival rides, sweet treats, warm drinks, and waterfront dining throughout Ventura Harbor Village. A fireworks display lights up the night sky and sea below both Friday & Saturday at approximately 8pm. Get up close and on the water for the spectacular display of lights with Public Cruises Parade offered by both Island Packers and Ventura Boat Rentals.
Join in to vote for the prestigious People’s Choice Award on the Ventura Harbor Facebook page! View all parade entries on the “2019 People’s Choice Award” album and “like” your favorites. Each like is counted as a vote on Saturday, December 14th only, and the award is presented on Sunday morning to the People’s Choice winner with a $100 cash prize and coveted bragging rights. Other awards feature Sweepstakes and Showstoppers Award for best in class.
The 2019 Parade of Lights is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the following: Admiral Sponsors: Four Points by Sheraton, Holiday Inn Express & Suites; Ship’s Captain Sponsor: Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Market; Sweepstake’s Award Sponsor: Portside Ventura Harbor; Showstoppers Award: Channel Watch Marine/Tow Boat USA; People’s Choice Award: Island Packers; Starboard Sponsors: Ventura West Marina, Ventura Isle Marina; Stern Sponsors: Harbortown Point Marina Resort, Coastal Cone, Ventura Yacht Club, Ventura Boat Rentals, Brophy Bros. Restaurant & Clam Bar, Fratelli’s Pizza & Brew, Ventura Marina Community, The Greek Mediterranean Steak & Seafood, Ventura Harbor Boatyard, Ventura Harbor Marine Fuel, Dave’s Fuel Dock, Cumulus Broadcasting, Ventura Breeze, VC Reporter, and Valley Scene Magazine, RP Barricade and Santa Clarita Signal.
Boat owners are invited to bring holiday cheer to the Ventura County Community by joining the parade. Entering as a boater is FREE! Being a boater comes with a handful of perks including an 8 x 10 keepsake photo, awards, cash prizes and a boater brunch following the parade! Boater Applications are available by calling (805) 477-0470 or online at VenturaHarbor.com and VenturaHarborVillage.com. There is no charge to enter a decorated boat.
Capture the Magic of the Season at the Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace
Ventura Harbor Village will host the annual magical Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace, Saturday, December 21th from 11 a.m. – 4 pm. Visitors get free visits with Santa & Mrs. Claus and their live reindeer, Victorian Carolers, Toy Soldier Band, faux snowfall, holiday characters, and complimentary craft stations all make Winter Wonderland a magical holiday experience for the family! Be sure and bring a camera for great ops. Plus, Harbor Village restaurants are brimming with good cheer for lunch and dinner. Enjoy festive fun at this free event and support locally owned coastal shops and art galleries for holiday finds. New in 2019, holiday shoppers can participate in the Harbor Village Holiday Shopping Passport by supporting local businesses and shopping in at least three of the participating retailers, spend $15+ and receive a stamp, get three stamps and you are entered to win a gift basket of coastal gifts worth $200, Island Packers Whale Watch Tickets starting right after the holidays, and more! See participating Ventura Harbor Village retailers to pick up a Holiday Passport starting November 30 for Shop Small Saturday through December 21 of Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace.
Santa Trades Reindeer for Paddle Board
Santa heads for the harbor at 11am, Saturday, December 21 for the Santa Paddle, an annual family–fun event. This delightful event is FREE to participate. Rent a kayak, stand-up paddle board, or electric boat and join the fun. Visit Ventura Boat Rentals in Ventura Harbor Village. Prices per hour are: $15 – $23/hour depending upon equipment rental. Arrive early to secure your rental needs. Participants can carry in their equipment or launch at the Harbor Boat Launch area and paddle over to Ventura Harbor Village C Dock area.
Starting point is in the Ventura Harbor Village bay in front of Ventura Boat Rentals where a Harbor representative will take a group photo on the water. Then, it’s a scenic paddle to the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center and back for approximately 1 hour. Everyone is invited to dress in the festive spirit with reds and white, and of course Santa Hats. A $40 prize will be given to the most festive outfit. Safety first is a must, so participants must wear or have a life vest with them at all times.
Holiday hats and socks can be purchased ahead of time at Hats Unlimited and Lost in Socks or festive holiday tank tops in Barefoot Boutique. Water gear is available at Ventura Swimwear or Ventura Dive & Sport in the Ventura Harbor Village.
After the paddle, celebrants can partake of a harbor side breakfast, warm coffee, delicious Bloody Mary, and sweet treats. Add to festivities by shopping for fabulous gifts at Ventura Harbor Village’s seaside boutiques and artisan galleries for everyone on the holiday list! Winter Wonderland & Holiday Market Place will be awaiting paddlers’ arrival back at the courtyard when they return to shore!
Holiday Parking and Details
Admission to the Parade of Lights, Winter Wonderland & Holiday Marketplace, and Santa Paddle is FREE. Plus, free event parking is available in Ventura Harbor Village lots, the Dolphin Lot at Ventura Isle Marina, on the street along Spinnaker Drive, and in the Ventura Harbor beach lots. Arrive early for best parking and shopping throughout the Ventura Harbor Village. Consider taking Uber and Lyft to the events this year. Dinner reservations are recommended or arrive early to dine in venues throughout Ventura Harbor. Parade and fireworks are weather pending. For best views of the parade, jump on a Parade of Light cruise.
Holiday Cruise All December Long
Island Packers and Ventura Boat Rentals are offering a schedule of entertaining cruises and tours that will make holiday spirits soar.
Caroling Cruises in Ventura Harbor aboard Island Packers are annual events awaited all year long. The yuletide spirit is alive on board as passengers slowly cruise the waterways of Ventura Harbor. The views are spectacular – a kaleidoscope of brilliant, ever-changing lights of decorated boats and homes. Passengers can sing along, or just relax and experience the joy of the holidays. Caroling Cruises can be booked for Dec. 7, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 at 6:30pm, and reservations are required. Also slated are fabulous Parade of Lights Cruises, Friday, December 13, 6:20 and 8:30pm, and Saturday, 6:00, 6:20 & 6:40pm to 8:30pm. Tickets are $35, adults; $32, seniors; and $25, children. A snack bar is available. For details, call 805-642-1393 and visit Island Packers
Ventura Boat Rentals perfected a cool concept called the California Sleigh Rides, ideal for families and friends to celebrate aboard one of the “Dreamer” vessels. Public Holiday Light Tours are scheduled December 7, 8 & 15 – 31, 5:45-7:00pm & 7:30 – 8:45pm. Ticket prices range from $25 – $6. Public Parade of Lights Tours are slated December 13 & 14, 5:30 – 7:00pm and 7:30 – 9:00pm; prices are $35, credit; and $31.50, cash, per person. All provide free hot chocolate and holiday cookies, and a bar is available on board, including the famous reindeer milk. Private Holiday Light Tours and Private Parade of Lights Tours can also be scheduled. For details of all Rides, call 805-642-7753 and visit Ventura Boat Rentals