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Boats brighten the bay

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SAT 12/6

You'd think Santa would be pretty busy with his big day coming up. But it's a whole new millennium, and the jolly old guy is probably kicking back on his schooner while he outsources his list-making to a software company on the Peninsula. If you want to get a real fix on St. Nick, skip the North Pole and head to the Lighted Yacht Parade. Ferry fans, galleon groupies, and dinghy devotees can stroll through food and crafts booths while watching illuminated boats from all over the Bay Area tool across the harbor. Awards go to the best vessels in seven categories, and there's even a buffet dinner at the Encinal Yacht Club, which is hosting the event as a fund-raiser for the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness program. The glow floats at 3 p.m. at EYC, 1251 Pacific Marina (at Triumph), Alameda. Entering a boat costs $40, but spectator admission is free with an unwrapped children's toy; call (510) 522-3272 or visit www.encinal.org.
– Jack Karp

Say It With Flowers
Remembering victims of 9/11

SAT 12/6

Many families of the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon made it known that their grief wasn't "a cry for war." Some observers also questioned the appropriateness of responding to hatred, violence, and injustice by dropping bombs. The nice people at the Neighborhood Parks Council have thought up a more conciliatory memorial: flower plantings in city parks. S.F.'s green spaces make ideal backdrops for such a tribute, and the bulbs should bloom year after year. Both events begin at 9 a.m. In the Mission, meet on the Church Street side of Dolores Park, between 18th and 20th streets; and in the Haight, meet at the Children's Playground of Buena Vista Park, Buena Vista West and Waller. Participation is free; call 621-3260 or visit www.sfneighborhoodparks.org.
– Hiya Swanhuyser

Jewel of the Bay

SUN 12/7

When the melting glaciers of the last Ice Age sent oceanic waters flooding into the Golden Gate, a small, isolated hillock was born. Over the last 8,000 years, tiny Angel Island has been transformed into everything from a fishing and hunting ground for Miwok Indians to a cattle ranch, a military fort, an immigration station, and even a clink for prisoners of war. See where it all took place at "An Island in History," a moderate hike to Mount Livermore's summit that includes an expert lecture on the island's multifarious past along with, of course, astounding views. The tour begins at 10:45 a.m. on the Angel Island Tiburon Ferry, departing from 21 Main (at Beach), Tiburon. Admission is free (but ferry fares are $6-8); call 255-3233 or visit www.greenbelt.org.
– Joyce Slaton

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