Check out the boats from Libby Hill and Dock Street.
The James River Parade of Lights dates back to 1989 when Harvey Price, then the dock master at Kingsland Reach Marina in Henrico County, covered his boat with decorations and cruised the James. Then in 1992 the James River Advisory Council (James River Task Force at that time) got in the act and decided to make it the yearly holiday tradition you see today.
Boats gather Saturday, December 13th at 5:45 PM, light up at 6:00 PM and cruise the James until about 8:30 PM. Best viewing sites in the city include Libby Hill and Dock Street. Out in the county your best spots are Osborne Park and Boat Landing in Henrico County, Henricus Historical Park and Dutch Gap Boat Landing in Chesterfield County.