Parade of Lights promises a colorful spectacle

This year’s Cayman 27 Parade of Lights on Saturday promises to be an illumination-filled spectacle of boats ablaze with color from 7-8 p.m.

Each year, the event draws a colorful procession of watercraft to the waterfront in Camana Bay, to show off the hard work boat crews have put in to outdo all others taking part. Fairy lights, glowing Santas and sparkling snowmen will festoon the boat decks, with captains and crews vying to best embody this year’s “Children’s Stories” theme. Always a lively and fun-filled display, the procession attracts a throng of spectators rooting for their favorites, both on land and on the many boats that moor up at The Harbour at Camana Bay.

Parade of Lights 2015 has around 13 boats registered to take part, though organizers can usually expect one or two late entries. Judges will assess each entrant on the criteria of creativity, use of color, overall impression and “wow” factor.

“Each year, we strive to make this wonderful event better for everyone,” said the event’s coordinator, Monique Hather. “Spectators can enjoy from home on Cayman 27 or live streaming on, listen in their car on Rooster or come out and be a part of all the activities. “

As well as the two prize-winning categories of large and small boats, this year’s parade will include a new non-competing category for boat captains wanting to take part just for the fun of it. The winners in the large and small boat categories will each receive a $2,000 cash prize, as well as a trophy and bragging rights.

Always an awe-inspiring show with the lights dancing across the water, the Parade of Lights has become one of Cayman’s best-loved Christmas traditions, embracing the season and the islands’ proud maritime heritage.

Once the procession is over, visitors are encouraged to keep the party atmosphere going by heading off for a meal or drinks at the Town Centre’s many restaurants and bars. Patrons can enjoy the live music performed by local musicians from 6-7 p.m. and again from 8:15-10 p.m. on the main stage, including The First Baptist Sanctuary Choir.

They can also enjoy shopping for holiday items at the bustling Christmas market on The Festival Green from 5 p.m. with plenty of stalls selling seasonal products from local retailers and crafters. The event will also feature plenty of additional photo opportunities and entertainment for everyone with Santa’s Winter Wonderland and Workshop complete with “snow” from 6-10 p.m.

In time-honored fashion, the Parade of Lights will be capped off with a spectacular pyrotechnic display of fireworks reflected on the North Sound.

The Parade of Lights was originally convened in George Town Harbour, but the location was switched to Camana Bay after a “Hurricane Ivan hiatus.” The waters in The Harbour at Camana Bay offer boaters safe passage as they negotiate the parade route. Spectators now have ample viewing space along the water’s edge to enjoy the spectacle of boats as they pass.

Last year’s winners were Sunset Divers’ “Sea Ray” and Red Sail’s “Azure.”

Entry to the event is free and there is plenty of parking available throughout Camana Bay. Boaters who plan to watch the parade while docked at The Harbour slips must register with the Discovery Centre at Camana Bay. For more details, visit


Reindeer lead a brilliantly lit boat into the harbour, with Santa stuck in the chimney of a house on the stern. – Photo: Melissa Wolfe Photography


The boats have a hard time competing with the magnificent Camana Bay Christmas tree that dominates The Crescent. – Photo: Melissa Wolfe Photography


The moon shines down on a sparkling catamaran. – Photo: Melissa Wolfe Photography


A sailboat makes its way past the crowd. – Photo: Stephen Clarke


If you can’t find reindeer to pull your sleigh, the next best thing is flying turtles.


A stars theme seems to be emerging here.


Children always love the Parade of Lights.


It would be difficult to cram one more thing on this entrant’s boat.


It’s the little details that make you a winner. – Photo: Stephen Clarke