Lighted Ships Parade

2020 Lighted Ships Parade

This year marked the 51st Anniversary of the Poulsbo Yacht Club 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). 
Congratulations to P/C Whitely and team for another wonderful Lighted Ship Parade.  We welcomed 23 boats to the parade this year to share the Spirit of Christmas PYC Style from Liberty Bay to Port Madison.  It was a crisp beautiful night on the water.  The cheers from the shorelines were heartwarming! 
Thank you to Chris and Miya for enduring the cold and thank you to RC Mark and Sharon Owen and Christine Peterson for judging the parade entries!  The awards winners for decorated boats are: 
1. Best Sailboat: Aurora
2. Best Powerboat: 2gather
3. Best use of lights: Diamond Knot
4. Classic Lines Power: Decent Proposal
5. Classic Lines Sail: Allusion
6. Most Original: Hush Calm
7. Best Christmas spirit: Moon Shadow
8. Rookie Awards: Power - Avatapu, Sail -Kestrel
9. Biggest Heart: Desiderata
10. Hotty Hot (most steamed up windows): Lovely Day
11. Best Crew Fashion: Illusion
12. Good use of an Elf: FIRE ESCAPE
Congratulations to all of these winners and  thank you to everyone  for all you have done to make PYC a beacon of Merry and Bright!   Check out #poulsboyachtclub or our Facebook page for an awesome aerial view of our parade boats on Liberty Bay! 

Ahoy PYC Captains:

In this crazy year there are many traditional events that we have missed due to Social Distancing requirements, but Lighted ships was made for this! (Although we will have to forego the after party! )  
So, please consider decorating your boat and being a part of this wonderful event that has become a holiday tradition for our community.  This year it is more important than ever to “be the light”.
To participate, register your “lighted ship” 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.”  The Mandatory Captains’ meeting will be held Saturday 12/12/20 at 3:30pm at the PYC Clubhouse.

Parade Schedule/Route:

The Parade starts just outside the PYC Marina at 5:00 pm.
  • 4:45  - Leave the dock 
  • 5:00 - Parade starts, fall in behind Rudolf & proceed to downtown Poulsbo.
  • 5:15  - Head south, following the west side of Liberty Bay,
  • 5:55 - Passing Keyport & Cross to Manzanita Bay and through Agate Pass on the east side
  • 7:50 - Suquamish dock then Return back down the west side of Agate Pass
  • 8:45 - Point Bolin & North to Lemolo and the east side of Liberty Bay
  • 9:30 – Parade ends
Also, it is perfectly acceptable to just do a portion of the parade!
After the parade, when we return to the PYC Marina There will be no after party, so just relax onboard and know that you have helped make a tough year just a little bit better for our friends and neighbors -young and old!
If you know of anyone who wants a greeting from Santa, ask him or her to email Santa at 

Feel free to contact Bill Whiteley at 360-440-8082 if you have any questions.    
Remember, ship captains, it is perfectly acceptable to just do a portion of the parade!
Call (360) 930-9129 and leave a message if you have any questions.  For up to date information call (360) 930-9129.

Lighted Ships Parade History

December 14th of 2019 marked 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).