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Harbor Lights Festival kicks off

Santa lights up the tree; boats light up the marina in day-long celebration at the Harbor Lights Festival in Corpus Christi. Photo courtesy of the Harbor Lights Committee

The 37th annual Harbor Lights Festival is a uniquely Corpus Christi celebration that kicks off — and lights up — this seaside city’s holiday season. The festival begins in the afternoon on Saturday, Dec. 1 and continues into the night with the Illuminated Boat Parade as the grand finale.

The Illuminated Boat Parade is a real crowd pleaser at the Harbor Lights Festival. Courtesy photo

The boat parade is a crowd favorite as all types of watercraft participate, including sail boats and shrimp boats. Even kayakers and windsurfers join the fun!

“It’s a fun, free family event to kick off the holiday season,” said Elaine Motl, a member of the Harbor Lights Committee. “It’s about bringing the community together.”

In addition to fun events and activities for children and adults alike, food trucks, vendors and exhibitors will be available for holiday shopping and snacking.

“The whole day builds up to the Lighting of the Trees and the Illuminated Boat Parade,” Motl said. “Seeing the faces of the young children laughing and smiling as they enjoy themselves — that’s my favorite part.”


1 p.m.

Children’s Parade

Begins at IH 37 and Shoreline traveling south in the Northbound lane to The Water’s Edge Park. This year’s theme: Story Book Holiday.

3 p.m.

Children’s Fun Zone at Water's Edge Park

Create holiday crafts, write letters to Santa, and participate in the Elves Gift Shop for a chance to win a wrapped present to giveaway.

Main Stage Entertainment

Live music includes mariachis and other local favorites.

5:45 p.m.

Santa’s Snowball Express Motorcade

Santa Claus is coming to town! A marching parade escorts Santa to the park where lights the tree.

6 p.m.

Ceremonial Lighting

The year, the city lights up a brand new tree as it kicks off the Holiday Season.

7 p.m.

Illuminated Boat Parade

The downtown marina and its boats light up with holiday decorations and sparkle for a regatta cruise of the bay. Captains and crews sing carols as their ships glide along the water front.

For more information, call the Harbor Lights Festival at (361) 510-0480. You also may visit the Harbor Lights Festival Facebook page.

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