Don’t miss holiday parades this weekend


Photo by Donna Ritchie

Two of Canyon Lake’s favorite traditions during the holidays will take place this weekend. Boats will cruise the waterways on Saturday for the Parade of Lights and golf carts will cruise the streets on Sunday for the Golf Cart Parade and Toy Drive. It’s difficult to say who has more fun during these events – the parade participates or the thousands of spectators who gather together on the streets and at the parks and waterfront homes to watch the parades.

The Parade of Lights, an annual event sponsored by the Yacht Club, will start at East Port Park launch ramp on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Leading the parade again this year will be the iconic 60 ft. fire-spitting “Green Dragon,” a float constructed many years ago by members of the Yacht Club.

The route of the parade will zigzag from one side of the East Bay to the other as the parade proceeds towards the main causeway. From the main causeway, the parade will proceed along the eastern shoreline, around the lodge and then down the eastern side of the main lake. The parade will duck briefly into Big Bass Cove and then proceed to the north end of the lake. From that point, the parade will cruise down the western side of the lake and into Catfish Cove, then past Happy Camp to the finish line at Holiday Harbor boat docks.

Residents are invited to view the floats up close at Holiday Harbor and see the winners receive their prizes for the best-decorated floats in each of the various categories. The Yacht Club and the POA will be serving hot chocolate, coffee, cookies.

It’s not too late to join the parade. Parade Co-chair Jim Lange is accepting registration forms at 30400 Harbor Circle or via email at Parade information and entry forms can found on the Yacht Club’s Facebook site.

The Yacht Club would appreciate receiving registrations by 5 p.m. on Friday in order for boats to be placed on the official list for judging for a possible award.

Residents who already signed up for the parade can have their parade entry number delivered to their home or can pick it up at the East Port launch ramp at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Those who did not pre-register but would still like to join in on the fun can sign up at the East Port launch ramp at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Yacht Club will be recognizing all registered boats with a Dash Plate award commemorating participation in the 2017 Parade of Lights. The plate can be mounted on the dashboard of the boat.

The awards are as follows:

Sweepstakes award (best overall boat): $125, plaque and perpetual trophy on display at POA office.

Commodore’s award (highest score): $100 and plaque.

Best Pontoon: 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.

Best Ski Boat: 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.

Club/Civic: 1st place $100, 2nd place $50, 3rd place $25.

For more information, contact Jim Lange at 951-723-2441 or Dave Dain at 714-580-9358.

Golf Cart Parade

Golf carts will cruise the streets of Canyon Lake on Sunday at 6 p.m. for the 7th annual Golf Cart Parade and Toy Drive, an event sponsored by the Street Carts of Canyon Lake.

Anyone owning a golf cart is invited to decorate their cart with lights and join in on the fun.

Parade organizers are asking participants to donate an unwrapped toy for the Toy Drive. The toys will be collected at the end of the parade at Holiday Harbor.

Registration is not required to participate in the parade. Simply decorate a golf cart and show up at the staging area on the corner of Canyon Lake Dr. South and Blue Bird Dr. between 5 and 5:30 p.m. The staging area is part of the fun – like one big block party.

Santa’s sleigh cart will lead the procession beginning at 6 p.m. The parade will travel on Canyon Lake Dr. towards the east gate and turn around at Windward Dr. From that point, the parade will travel along Canyon Lake Dr. to Village Way and end at Holiday Harbor Park.

At Holiday Harbor Park, the toys will be collected, awards will be presented for best-decorated carts in various categories and complimentary cocoa, coffee and cookies will be served.

Residents who are not participating in the parade are invited to line the parade route and cheer on the festive carts as they pass by. Spectators are also invited to partake in the Toy Drive by giving an unwrapped toy to Santa as he drives by.

The annual Golf Cart Parade and Toy Drive started in 2011 with approximately 20 golf carts. Since then, the parade has tripled in size with more than 90 golf carts participating in last year’s parade. More than 100 carts are expected to participate this year.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” said Street Carts of Canyon Lake President Mike Shroyer.



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Donna Ritchie