Sparkling on the water, the Christmas Ship Parade kicks off the holiday season at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in Portland. For two weeks, boat owners show off their holiday light displays to spectators lining the rivers’ banks. The first parade in 1954 featured one sailboat from the Portland Yacht Club, decorated with bows of greenery and ribbon. Today, up to 60 boats from Portland, Vancouver, McMinnville, Salem and Hood River participate in the free, non-ticketed event. This year’s Christmas Ship Parade is December 1-17, starting at 7 p.m. For viewing, select a night from either the Columbia or Willamette fleets on one of 13 routes. Enjoy the luminescence from one of the many outdoor viewpoints (weather permitting) or reserve a seat at a restaurant along the route for dinner with a view. Visit their website to learn more.