It’s a beloved Annapolis tradition: Every year on the second Saturday in December, magic happens on the water of the Annapolis Harbor—boats suddenly appear out of the cold winter night illuminated with thousands of colored lights and crewed by jolly revelers.Families and friends gather at their favorite viewing spots along the waterfront to see this yearly spectacle and to celebrate the holiday season together. The Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade is one of Annapolis’ signature events and you are invited!
Where to Watch the Parade
- Eastport Bridge: If it’s a warm or still night, this is the best vantage point. You can see the fleets both above and below the bridge and get a close-up look as they pass through the bridge. Note: The bridge will be closed to vehicles but open before the parade, at 6:45 and again at 7:45 p.m.
- Naval Academy: The length of seawall bordering Spa Creek offers a long, unobstructed viewing area. Check ahead for Naval Academy security regulations that will be in effect.
- City Dock: This is a perennial favorite spot for viewers where there is the choice of watching the boats collectively as they parade in the harbor or individually as they negotiate
- Ego Alley: The Alley spot offers the closest possible look at the decorations as well as the chicken wire and PVC pipe that support them.
- Harbor Queen: One fine vantage point at City Dock will be Watermark’s Harbor Queen, moored at the end of the dock and conducting the “Queen of All Food Drives” during the parade. Bring a bag of non-perishable food, pet food items, or a cash donation ($10 recommended) and you’ll be welcomed aboard. Beverages and snacks available for purchase and proceeds benefit the Anne Arundel County Food Bank. For more information on public boat events EYC Lights Parade viewing, visit CruisesOnTheBay.com.
- Other Spots: If you have friends with offices, homes, or boats along the harbor, this might be a nice time to renew acquaintances. Otherwise, the walkway in front of Annapolis City Marina in Eastport, or any of the streets that dead-end at the harbor or Spa Creek are good spots to view the parade.
- Market, Shipwright & Revel Streets
- Acton Cove
- Southgate, Taney & Cheston Avenues
- Lafayette Park
- Monticello Avenue
- Primrose Rd. (Truxton Park)
- Burnside Street
- Fourth Street
- Third Street
- Second Street
- First Street