Boater Bob Fletcher used to light up his house for the holidays. These days, he skips climbing a ladder at home and decks out his big Bayliner.
The Arlington man and his wife, Brenda, will be joined by guests aboard their 47-foot motor yacht, the Wishing Well, for a lighted boat parade after sunset Saturday along the Everett waterfront.
Organized by the Mukilteo Yacht Club, Saturday’s boat parade is scheduled to start about 5 p.m. Decorated vessels will line up and head out from Guest Dock 6 in the port’s North Marina. They’ll parade through the channel and back, within the breakwater.
Lit-up boats will be an end-of-day highlight of Holiday on the Bay, an annual celebration hosted Saturday afternoon by the Port of Everett at its Waterfront Center, 1205 Craftsman Way, and in the nearby Marina Plaza by the Fisherman’s Tribute statue.
It’s a time for kids and shoppers to visit Everett’s waterfront, which is undergoing a transformation that eventually will feature housing, more public spaces and a new hotel, along with a pedestrian bridge to Grand Avenue Park on the bluff overlooking the port.
Before the boat parade, Holiday on the Bay will offer cookie decorating, ornament making and face painting for kids; music and holiday movies; a Toys for Tots toy drive and silent auction of wreaths; free cocoa, cider and popcorn; specials on seasonal drinks at waterfront restaurants; a tree lighting and a visit from Santa.
And on both Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m., the Everett Farmers Market Holiday Festival will bring more than 40 vendors and live music inside the Waterfront Center.
“If people haven’t been down there in a while, they’ll be surprised by the amount of construction activity,” said Lisa Lefeber, spokeswoman for the Port of Everett. Work has started on the pedestrian bridge project next to Lombardi’s Italian Restaurant.
Holiday on the Bay visitors also will see road work, utilities and flagpoles going in for what will be the Pacific Rim Plaza at 14th Street. Lefeber described the plaza as a “1-acre hard-scaped public space” that will include a splash fountain and flags of the port’s trading partners.
The 142-room Hotel Indigo, to be built by Seattle’s Columbia Hospitality, is expected to open by October 2019. Late last year, the Port of Everett selected American Classic Homes, a Mercer Island development firm, to build two apartment buildings — 264 units — in its Fisherman’s Harbor District.
Holiday on the Bay “continues to grow, with more events, activities and community partners,” Lefeber said. The event started in 2006 with “simply a tree lighting” coinciding with the boat parade.
“It’s so fun,” said Lefeber, adding that Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson, City Councilmember Paul Roberts and a port commissioner are expected during the festivities. “Santa comes by boat,” Lefeber said, and the ORCA program — Everett Community College’s Ocean Research College Academy — “is bringing in elves.”
Depending on weather, Lefeber expects 25 to 30 boats in the parade.
Fletcher was last year’s Everett Yacht Club commodore. Saturday will be his fourth holiday boat parade. “We used to go to Mukilteo and back,” he said. That’s an hour trip, which makes for tricky timing with the tree lighting, he said.
“It’s also difficult to see with the boat lit up,” Fletcher said. “We’ve never had any mishaps. We always make sure there are more than enough life jackets.”
Decorated boats will stay in the channel, closer to see from shore. And on Dec. 9, Fletcher will join with boaters from Dagmars Marina, on the Snohomish River, in a second boat parade to the guest dock outside Anthony’s HomePort.
Matt Thompson, the Mukilteo Yacht Club’s vice commodore, will lead this Saturday’s parade in his 26-foot Tollycraft. His boat is named Caledonian Mist, but on Saturday its theme will be “Island of Misfit Toys.” The boat will be ferrying lit-up “toys” normally used as holiday yard decor.
“We spend a lot of time on the water; it’s obviously a love,” Thompson said. “This is just getting out there and celebrating the season.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@herald net.com.
Holiday on the Bay
The Port of Everett’s annual Holiday on the Bay celebration (Saturday) and Everett Farmers Market Holiday Festival (Saturday and Sunday) are at the Waterfront Center, 1205 Craftsman Way, and the port’s North Marina on the Everett waterfront. Festivities include:
1-5 p.m. Saturday: free holiday crafts, cookie decorating and face painting; a Toys for Tots toy drive (bring new, unwrapped gifts) and silent auction of wreaths; free cocoa, cider and popcorn; holiday music and movies; free rides on Everett Fire Department trucks; seasonal drink specials at waterfront restaurants.
5-5:30 p.m. Saturday: Tree lighting and Santa visit at the Fisherman’s Tribute Plaza near the Waterfront Center.
5-6 p.m.: Saturday: Lighted boat parade, sponsored by Mukilteo Yacht Club, starts at Guest Dock 6 at the port’s North Marina. Boats will parade within the breakwater past Anthony’s HomePort restaurant and back to Guest Dock 6. Awards ceremony at 7.
Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: The Everett Farmers Market Holiday Festival, with more than 40 vendors and live music, inside the Waterfront Center.