San Francisco's 95th Annual 'Opening Day on the Bay' parade

America’s Cup Spectators at Crissy field rendering
San Francisco 2011 boating season has a decorated boat parade scheduled for Sunday, May 1.

On Sunday, May 1, 2011, the free public viewing is to be held at Crissy Field to Pier 39, starting at 12 noon. The Blessing of the Fleet takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon in Racoon Straight.

The 95th Annual 'Opening Day on the Bay' Decorated Boat Parade, hosted by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA), representing over 100 yacht clubs in Northern California, celebrates the official beginning of the 2011 boating season on San Francisco Bay. This year's theme is 'Giants of the Bay' celebrating the many people and things that have made San Francisco so unique. 'Emperor Norton IV' is the Grand Marshal. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the primary sponsor.

The parade will feature over 120 historic workboats, fireboats, towboats, classic and contemporary craft decorated to the theme. There will be both power and sail boats competing for best decoration honors. Six trophies - including the BoatUS Ward Cleaveland Memorial Trophy for the 'best overall decorated boat' - will be given as well as prize bags for the participants with great items such as dining certificates, event tickets, wine, clothing, art work, boat gear, books, travel and sailing excursions all donated by various businesses and yacht clubs.

Free public viewing is available along the San Francisco waterfront from Crissy Field, which is west of the Marina Green, to Pier 39, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. The occasion will be a unique opportunity to see these special boats, sailing close to shore where land-based spectators can enjoy the event. This is an event for the whole family to enjoy, learn about boating and to get excited for the 43rd America's Cup to be held in San Francisco in 2013.

Those seeking a closer view of the decorated boats can join the Officers, Directors and guests of PICYA on the 'California Hornblower,' one of the Hornblower's largest yachts on San Francisco Bay, with a light breakfast and a gourmet lunch. This event is open to the public.

Organized by the Pacific Inter-Club Yacht Association (PICYA), which was formed in San Francisco in 1896 to improve communications between yacht clubs, provide uniform racing rules, and encourage yachting. Today PICYA is the only organization in Northern California that supports the promotion of recreational boating through the coordination and dissemination of information for the benefit of boaters.

It publishes the Yachting Yearbook, the annual directory of member clubs and information, and created Recreational Boaters of California, a governmental advocacy organization committed to promoting the enjoyment, protections and responsible use of our waterways.

PICYA website