If you are thinking about looking at Christmas lights but want to twist it up a bit have we got something for you. The good news is that it is free but you have to be willing to brave the cold, unless you can find a place that is warm like your car or a restaurant. But that is up to you. Starting tomorrow (December 1) night, people around the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area can watch the Christmas Ship Parade. Over 50 decorated boats and ships will be in this years parade, split into two fleets: The Columbia Fleet, and the Willamette Fleet. The Parade can be viewed along the Willamette and Columbia rivers during the month of December. View the website, and the schedules for the prospective rivers to see on which days you can view the parade, and along which segments of the rivers. Six of the 15 scheduled parade days, you will be able to see the two fleets combined. The other nine days, each fleet will tour separately so keep up with the website to know which days will have the fleet tour you would like to see.
You can view the specifics for the The Christmas Ship Parade; make sure to look at the site right before you go to view the parade. Local weather conditions may have an impact on the nights scheduling, and the website will have any changes listed. Having owned a sail boat and sailed in the winter here, I can tell you that the guys on the boats will all be bundled up to because it’s always colder on the water than it is on the land. So, when you are watching the lit up boats- think warm thoughts for the sailors.
This has been a Portland tradition, since 1954. Many other cities have similar traditions and to see if your city is one of them, type “Christmas Ship” + your city’s name + the year into your browser’s search bar.