Friday, November 30, 2007

Boat parade among highlights of Suisun City Christmas festivities

From Daily Republic (Subscription required)

By Carol Bogart | Daily Republic
SUISUN CITY - Their yacht's so big Don and Barbara Sefcik 'only' strung Christmas lights around the deck. They also put wreathes in the windows and festoon the top with six, count 'em six, decorated trees.

Some of the smaller boats at the Suisun City Marina and Solano Yacht Club, Don Sefcik pointed out, will be literally covered in lights stem to stern in preparation for the annual holiday Boat Parade of Lights on Saturday.

The party begins on the boats at 4 p.m. Shortly after 5 p.m., the boats will simultaneously turn on their holiday lights and make two passes through the harbor. A pontoon boat lit to look like a sleigh will deposit Santa Claus at the public dock at 5:30 p.m.

Santa will light the city's Christmas tree at the end of Solano Street, and there will be a fireworks show over the marina.

The Sefciks have been berthing boats in the Suisun City marina and participating in the Boat Parade since before the current harbor was built in 1994. When the marina was under construction, Don Sefcik told the then-harbormaster that he wanted to be on the waiting list for a slip.

Told there was no such list, his response was, 'We ought to start one.' His name was the first on it.

Don and Barbara Sefcik, married 23 years with six grown kids between them, bought their 57-foot yacht two years ago when they sold their Fairfield house in which they lived for 31 years. When they're not on the yacht, they live in an Oakley waterfront condo in which, through those years, they have also spent a lot of time.

Swapping the four-bedroom house for the yacht, a fixer-upper, wasn't a difficult decision, both said. Barbara Sefcik, 63, comes to Fairfield two or three times a week to work in the deli the two still own at the courthouse. Don Sefcik, 70, helps out with maintenance at the yacht club one or two days a week.

When they're here, they live on the yacht. There are three bedrooms, and each has a bathroom.

After the parade Saturday, member boats and others will drop anchor for a potluck spaghetti feed. The parade started 20 years ago and has become a tradition, drawing 15 or more boats. This year, as many as 25 are expected to participate.

Taking a break from boat decorating, Barbara Sefcik gazed out the expansive windows of her spacious on-deck living room. Viewing the acres of open water, blue sky and array of vessels, she remembered the years of hard work that have resulted in this dream life.

'We're lucky,' she said, with a smile of contentment.

Reach Carol Bogart at 427-6955 or at

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