Petaluma lighted boat parade canceled

The Petaluma Yacht Club announced that the annual Lighted Boat Parade, scheduled for Dec. 14, has been canceled due to silting in the Petaluma River. A holiday tradition for the past decade, the parade features yachts and small water craft sailing into the Turning Basin with holiday lights and decorations.

Recently the city of Petaluma had to close the docks at the Yacht Club due to the silting of the river. At low tide the docks sit on the mud bottom, twisting and leaning over, causing a trip and fall hazard.

“The lighted boat parade has been a long standing tradition of the holiday season. Many families have enjoyed seeing the flotilla of lighted boats escorting Santa into the turning basin in the heart of Petaluma,” McKenzie Smith, commodore of the Yacht Club, said in a statement. “It breaks our heart to have to cancel this beloved event.”

The Petaluma River has not been dredged for more than 15 years and at low tide, the silted Petaluma River is impassable in places, impacting commercial shippers and recreational boaters on the waterway.

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