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About 70 boats are taking part in the nightly parade on the Willamette and Columbia rivers; check website for locations.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Christmas Ships pass by the Tilikum Crossing.It's been a tough year, but it's the holiday season and we all have to find ways to celebrate.

Right on the waters of the Willamette River and Columbia River, the Christmas Ships Parade goes by nightly through Dec. 22, providing colorful light to the darkness (literally).

People have gone to the shores and enjoyed the parade — it's outdoors, you can be six feet apart from somebody else and wear your mask (which might actually keep your face warm).

For 66 years the Christmas Ships Parade has motored by on the Columbia, from Camas and Washougal, Washington to St. Helens, and the Willamette, from St. Johns to Lake Oswego. Organizers knew they had to continue in 2020 and try to make memories and bring cheer to an awful year (in many respects).

"While we are excited to bring joy to our community each and every year, the crazy and unprecedented times in 2020 have dramatically increased that excitement," said Rob Steffeck, Christmas Ships Parade president and Willamette fleet leader.



More than 70 boats are taking part in the Christmas Ships Parade, which went on the Willamette last week with lit-up Portland as the backdrop (as documented by our photographer, Jonathan House).

See http://www.christmasships.org and its social media for parade schedule and details.

Also, the Christmas Ships Parade has been designated as an Oregon Heritage Tradition by the Oregon Heritage Commission. It joins such events as the Oregon State Fair, Pear Blossom Festival in Medford, Pendleton Round-Up and Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana.

— Jason Vondersmith


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