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Harbor Lights Up For The Holidays

Decorated boats compete for prizes in the annual event just outside Half Moon Bay.

Scores of people attended Pillar Point Harbor's 24th Annual Boat Decorating Festival on Saturday evening. Those who attended walked the docks and admired holiday lights reflecting off the water.

The San Mateo Elks Concert Band entertained with Christmas songs on land and on sea while the Choir caroled along the docks.

The most elaborate display I saw belonged to Alda Cardoso, a multi-year winner of the event. The entire living space of her boat is converted into a miniature mountain village.

The festival is also a decoration contest. Judges included Supervisor Don Horsley, Barbara LaVey and Kaitlin Ortega from Marine Exchange. LaVey told me that judging critieria includes "holiday and nautical themes, creativity and overall lighting."

"This originates with the people in the boats who have a feeling of joy at this time of year," said Peter Grenell, Harbor District General Manager. "Somewhere along the line they decided to make it a festival."

Crisp weather and a full moon completed the event's wintry feeling.

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