Parade of Lights is Christmas on the water

A gingerbread man captains this vessel.

The roundabouts are decorated, the gift shopping has begun and there are concerts almost every night. Yes, Christmas is definitely on its way; but how else can you tell? A Cayman classic, the Parade of Lights, is definitely a marker of the festive season. As the posters say, “What’s Christmas without it?.”

From around 6 p.m. on Saturday, heavily decorated boats with lights all aglow will be making their way into the Camana Bay Harbour to compete for some pretty impressive prizes. The judges’ favorites will win two general admission tickets to KAABOO and $1,000 cash.

The theme this year is “Christmas Around the World,” but boats don’t necessarily have to stick to that. They can still win, even if they decide to follow their own theme, and those which seemed to be solely focused on having as many lights festooning their vessel as possible often get the best response from the crowd.

The great thing about the design of the harbor is it allows for lots of people to spread out and get an excellent view of the proceedings. A number of the competitors dock right next to Camana Bay so if you are in the right spot, you can almost see every individual bulb.

The boats will be judged on four criteria: creativity, use of color, wow factor and overall impression. Boats will be entered in one of two categories: under 30 feet and over 30 feet. If you are not really the competitive type but you still want to participate, there will also be a non-competitive category which will not be judged.

EPIC Divers top their boat with a reindeer.

There is plenty of entertainment scheduled for the evening. New this year, local businesses will be showcased in a Christmas Market where you can tick some things off your Christmas List. As always, there will be live Christmas music from local choirs and performers as well as fireworks toward the end of the evening. A certain jolly old man from the North Pole may also be making an appearance, so make sure to bring the kids along.

Attending and registering to compete are both completely free. If you want to register your boat, you can do so on the Cayman 27 website www.cayman27.ky.