Discovery Bay ready to light up the holidays

Photo courtesy of Shannon Marlin

The Willow Lake Parade in Discovery Bay, seen here last year, will light up the bays and inlets of town this year on Dec. 21.

Discovery Bay residents love the holiday season enough to produce three different parades each year in its honor.

First up is the Parade of Lights on Saturday, Dec. 7, now in its 17th year. Originally begun by Amanda Dove, the parade is a highlight every December as it winds its way through town from the marina to the Discovery Bay shopping center.

“I started the parade when my son was born hearing impaired,” Dove explained. “Not knowing what my baby’s future might be, I wanted a visual event that he could enjoy along with all special abilities children and the entire community.”

Dove went to the Discovery Bay Lions Club in search of a partner, and the group was completely on board. For almost two decades, the Lions have helped make the parade a safe, joyous event for the community, and this year will be no different. The theme is “Holiday Movies,” and over 40 vehicles, six bands and 1,000 participants have already registered. A visit with Santa from 3 to 5:30 p.m. will kick things off at the Discovery Bay Marina. The parade will start at 6 p.m. and roll from the marina, through town, to the shopping center on the corner of Discovery Bay Boulevard and Riverlake Road for the tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.

The following week, residents will be treated to the Discovery Bay Yacht Club’s Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 14. Another long running tradition in town, the parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. and sail through half the bays in town. The route alternates each year, so next year, the parade will hit the remaining bays.

Chairing the parade committee this year is Cheryl Flebut, the yacht club’s fleet captain. She held the honor of choosing a decorating theme and said she kept it general to allow people to take it whichever direction they like.

“This year’s theme is Winter Wonderland,” she said. “I did this because it’s festive and general. We just want people to come out and have fun.”

The parade will culminate in the after-party at the yacht club, with food, music and dancing. The parade is open to anyone who wants to participate, not just club members, and the party is open to all parade participants.

“It’s an amazing boat parade, it’s such a different feel to be on a boat, cruising in and out of the bays, and everyone gets so excited about participating,” Flebut said.

She further noted awards will be given to the best decorated boat in each of three size categories, as well as to the best decorated dock.

For those who want to view the parade but don’t live on the water, the boats can be seen from the Discovery Bay Marina as they come into the yacht club at the end of the parade route.

Topping off this trifecta of festiveness is the Willow Lake Lighted Boat Parade. Willow Lake residents will decorate their pontoons and other boats and cruise the lake on Dec. 21, starting at 5:30 p.m., moving clockwise around the whole lake. Any boat is welcome with any type of decorations. Residents have chosen to forgo a theme this year, hoping to see fun, original designs.

For more information on the Parade of Lights, or to register, visit  

To become involved with the Discovery Bay Lions Club, visit

For more information on the Lighted Boat Parade, contact or visit

For more information on the Willow Lake Lighted Boat Parade, contact Shannon Marlin at or 925-383-8728.