Florida’s Panhandle and West Coast Christmas Boat Parades for 2013

Experience Sailing First Hand with Discover Sailing in St. Petersburg, Florida
November 21, 2013
J/70 News FLASH
November 22, 2013

Florida’s Panhandle and West Coast Christmas Boat Parades for 2013

Pre Boat Parade: Come see the new Beneteau Oceanis 37, Oceanis 38, Oceanis 41 and Oceanis 48 at the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show December 5-8, 2013.  Boat Show Info

Apollo Beach

Apollo Beach Lighted Boat Parade

December 7th 2013 6:30pm. There will alos be a chili cook off.

Tampa Sailing Squadron is the host for this community event, which means the party, chili cookoff, and awards ceremony are held at our clubhouse at 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd. We have good viewing from our docks, as well. The Squadron also is sponsoring the community-wide party that evening. On the same day, the Squadron and St Pete Sailing Association are holding their Trans-Bay Regatta. So there will something for everyone.

For more info, call John Stocksdale at 813-841-7227 or email at stoxlll@verizon.net.

Bonita Springs

Bonita Springs Boat Parade

December 14th, 2013

The Bonita Springs holiday boat parade is in the planning stages. The date has been set for December 8th 2012 at approximately 4:00 p.m. Details with meeting locations and the captains dinner/sign up is to follow. Contact Adam Botana (239) 248-0955 for more information regarding sponsorships and Boat Parade sign up. The US 41 bridge in Bonita Springs, over the Imperial River is an excellent vantage point to see the parade. Parking is limited. Plan to park at neighboring plazas; Kmart, Fresh Market, Riverview Terrace Office Park and walk to the venue .Website (239) 495-0455


Christmas on the Braden River.

December 8th 2013, 5:00pm

Starting on Sunday December 8, 4:00 PM the vessel registration will begin at Jiggs Landing Preserve. We will assign the boat numbers and direct boaters to the line up area from 5 until 5:45 PM. The parade begins at 6:00. Each participant passes staging area for the visitor voting. The parade ends 7:30 at Linger Lodge, where you may order your favorite dish from the regular menu.
Prizes will be awarded. 

Please confirm dates and times, they are subject to change. If you are going to the parade by boat, check for tips on our website. Voting will be by text message to 941-320-8811. Website


Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade

December14th, 2013 6:30 Website


Captiva Lighted Boat Parade

December 14th, 6:00 pm 2013

As part of the Captiva Holiday Village festivities, the Captiva Lighted Boat Parade will start at 6 p.m. just outside Roosevelt Channel, Marker #2. The route will follow Roosevelt Channel to ‘Tween Waters Inn and back. There is no entry free for the boat parade; however, a minimum of 100 lights is required for entry; more are encouraged. Prizes will be given for the best-decorated vessels from any of three categories: power boats 36-feet or more, power boats 35-feet or less, and sailboats of all sizes. An awards party will take place at Key Lime Bistro on Andy Rosse Lane after the parade. Captiva Cruises will be offering passenger tickets for those without a boat to cruise in the parade and be part of the fun, or groups can arrange their own private charter on one of the Captiva Cruises boats. Public viewing of the parade from land is available at The Green Flash Waterfront Restaurant, ‘Tween Waters Inn, Jensen’s Marina, and McCarthy’s Marina. www.captivaholidayvillage.com 


Boat Parade of Lights & Holiday on the Harbor

December 14th 2013 5:00pm

Join us for the Boat Parade of Lights and Holiday on the Harbor on Dec. 14th on the Carrabelle Riverfront! Put your boat in the parade and join in the fun! Holiday Celebration with Santa, food and Fireworks! Website for more information or call 850-251-0445

Cape Coral/Fort Myers

35th Annual Cape Coral Holiday Boat Along

December 15h , 2013 4:00-8:00pm Website

The focal point of this event is a parade of approximately 100 boats decorated in a festive holiday fashion with lights, costumes, elves, and whatever else their captains can think of. At Four Freedoms Park, the landlubbers watch the boats gather in the Bimini Basin before they begin meandering through the canals of south Cape Coral. Along with providing an ideal seat to watch the illuminated vessels, the park features holiday music, a visit from Santa, food and beverages for sale. This is a unique celebration of Christmas Florida-style. Boats can register by contacting Sea Tow in Cape Coral. Sea Tow (239) 549-0558

Cedar Key

Boat Parade ( A Cedar Key Christmas)

December, 14, 2013 (Dusk)

Enter your boat in Cedar Key’s lighted waterway parade! It’s a great way to advertise your business and it helps our community have a successful event. Our parade kicks off Cedar Key’s Community night on Dec. 15. The route wraps around Dock Street and ends at City Park, where Santa Clam will visit with the kids and everyone enjoys a giant covered-dish party. To enter the parade, call Rose at 352 -543-6346. For Community Night questions, email mary@cedarkey.org.


Island Estates Yacht Club Boat Parade

December 14th, 2013 6:30 pm (Coachman Park)

Decorated boats assemble in Mandalay Channel and head to Coachman Park, under the Memorial Causeway Bridge and to the Clearwater Yacht Club’s judging stand. Prizes awarded for best decorated boats. This annual parade is held in memory of Island Estates Yacht Club members who died during the year. Contact information is: Scott Sanders at 727-461-3949, Laura Lee Bernard at 727-442-1978 or Sue Speck at 727-446-0682.

Cortez/Longboat Key/ Bradenton Beach

10th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

December 14th 2013

All vessels meeting USGS safety requirements and decorated in appropriate holiday fashion are welcomed to join in for this fun and heartwarming event.

Prizes will be awarded to the Best Decorated Boats in several divisions: Grand Prize is $500.

This parade, organized by the Cortez Yacht Club, is for community enjoyment in conjunction with Manatee Toys for Tots and Christmas on Bridge Street festivities in Bradenton Beach.

Parade will begin on the north end of Longboat Key near Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, and will proceed north along the Intracoastal Waterway to finish for judging at the Seafood Shack Marina.

Boats competing for prize money need to register with the Cortez Yacht Club by Thursday, December 15, 2012.

No entry fee is required but a gift donation of a new toy for the Toys for Tots collection effort is requested.

Please contact the Cortez Yacht Club Lighted Boat Parade Chairman for registration:

Laura Ritter 941-780-3547 cortezyachtclub@verizon.net  Website


26th Annual Holiday on the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade

December 15th, 2013. 6:00pm 

Festivities will be held that afternoon all along the Harbor and the Lighted Boat Parade and judging will start at 6 P.M. upstairs at Harry T’s Restaurant. Boats will start lining up in the Harbor between 5 and 5:30 PM. Fireworks in the East Pass will light up the sky after the parade. Mark your calendar and plan to add this event to your holiday activities. The parade can be viewed from docks and restaurants west of Grand Harbor Condominiums on Destin Harbor. All commercial, charter, and private boats are invited to help light up the Harbor with the true Destin spirit. You may pick up an entry form in person at the Museum, Destin Community Center, City Hall, Destin Chamber of Commerce, or many Harbor businesses. You may also request a fax or email copy by calling the Destin History and Fishing Museum at 850-837-6611 or email kathydestinhistory@gmail.com. Website Sponsored by The Destin History & Fishing Museum”

Notes: “Boats will start lining up in the Harbor between 5 and 5:30 P.M. on the south side of the Harbor. At 6 P.M. the parade will travel east in the Harbor, turning north at Grand Harbor Condo and preceding along the Harbor’s north shore west to pass Harry T’s where judging takes place.”


Holiday Boat Parade

December 7th, 2013 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Beautifully decorated, lighted boats will leave Marker 1 Marina at 6pm and proceed south through the Intra-Coastal waterway to Marker 2, turn around and arrive at the Dunedin Marina at approximately 7:30pm. Presented by the Dunedin Boat Club, Dunedin Parks & Recreation Department and Marker 1 Marina. Festivities also include Holiday music, S’Mores and Santa arriving on the last boat and preside over the Tree Lighting ceremony! Free to attend. Bring lawn chairs. For boat registration, call (727) 692-6440. For general information, call (727) 812-4531 Flyer


RPM’s Lighted Boat Parade

No date has been set. It may not happen this year (per RPM).  Facebook

Fort Myers Beach

25th Annual Christmas Boat Parade

December 7tht 2013 6:00pm

Boats decked out in festive holiday array depart from Salty Sam’s Marina at 6:10 p.m. The 25th annual lighted floating parade proceeds beneath the high bridge and through the canals of Siesta Bay in a purely Fort Myers Beach tradition. The event is expected to feature 25 to 30 illuminated boats decorated with a dazzling array of animated Christmas scenes. This spectacular night time parade will be led by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus on the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce Boat. Enter to win a trophy for the best decoration in three categories: powerboat under 26 feet, powerboat over 26 feet, and sailboat. Or watch from Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Doc Ford’s , the Siesta Bay channels, Bowditch Point, the Pink Shell Marina, Matanzas Inn, or Nervous Nellie’s If you would like to participate in the boat parade registration please contact the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce at 239.454.7500 Website

Gulf Port

Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s Annual Light Prade

December 14th, 2013 6:00pm

Boca Ciega Yacht Club is holding its 28th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday, December 14th, 2013. Members spend many hours planning and then decorating their boats in hopes of sharing the holiday spirit with the surrounding communities. Residents of Gulfport, South Pasadena, and St. Petersburg frequently contact the club for the date so holiday parties can be planned around the event and many non-members participate in this festive parade, as it is open to the public.Starts at 6PM, Gulfport Marina at 6:15, Gulfport City Dock at 6:30-6:45, Town Shores at 6:45, Pasadena Yacht Club at 7:15. Website

Hernando Beach

Boat Parade

December 7th, 2013 6:00pm

The parade will start at 6 p.m., leaving from behind the yacht club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., then proceeding through local canals and to the public boat ramp. The Coast Guard Auxiliary and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will assist. The Hernando Beach Yacht Club will host the annual Hernando Beach Christmas Boat Parade at high tide on Dec. 15. Afterward, there will be hot dogs, chili, chips and drinks available at the club.

Entry fee is the donation of a new, unwrapped toy. Trophies will be awarded for the best original theme, best lighted boat and the funniest boat. There is no cost for spectators. For information, call Fleet Captain Arron Nangle at 352-916-0001

Indian Rocks Beach

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

December 15th 2012 7:00pm

For further information on this event, please contact Public Services Supervisor Randy Schwab, at 727/595-6889, Mon – Fri, from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m Website

Madeira Beach 

Festival Of Light

December 7th , 2013 6:30

Lighted and decorated boats will light up the waterways. The parade will begin behind the Madeira Beach recreation field at 6:30 pm and end at John’s Pass. Website


RiverWalk Milton

December 6th, 2013 ( 8:00 pm)

Our annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 8:00 p.m., on the Blackwater River in Milton, Florida. Line up at Russell Harbor Landing@ 7:15pm. Chairperson is Ken Ponsell; he can be reached at (850) 529-3565, e-mail kponsell@gmail.com Flyer



2013 Marine Industries Christmas Boat Parade

December 14th 2013 6:00-8:00pm

Naples City Dock

Donations will be accepted by the Marine Industries Foundation. 100% of donations will be given to The Ricky King Fund which provides the unmet financial medical needs of local children. Make donation checks payable to The Ricky King Fund. Send check and parade entry form to MIACC Foundation, P.O. Box 9887, Naples, FL 34101. Website


The 3rd Annual Boggy Bayou Holiday Boat Parade


Celebrate the season on board your boat at the Boggy Bayou Holiday Boat Parade, hosted by North Light Yacht Club. Lights, music, props and more are all welcomed by the judges as they award the best floating holiday displays. The event has created a fabulous competition of lighted boat participants and numerous spectators line the shores of the Bayou to view this spectacular celebration Website 

Palm Harbor

Lake Tarpon Holiday Boat Parade.

December TBA 7:30pm ( Boat Registration 6:00pm)

Wheelchairs 4 Kids is proud to have been chosen as the Charity of Choice for the Lake Tarpon Holiday Boat Parade. Join us at the Dockside Sports Bar and Grille Tiki Bar in the Lake Tarpon Resort (37611 US Hwy 19 N, Palm Harbor, FL 34684). The party starts at 6 PM. Enjoy a cool beverage or a hot chocolate as we watch the decorated boats make their way around Lake Tarpon.. Check out our events page for more info. Happy Holidays! Website

Panama City Beach

27th Annual Boat Parade of Lights

November 30th 2013 5:30pm

The annual Boat Parade of Lights comes to St. Andrews and Panama City. Thousands of spectators gather every year to celebrate Christmas with the beautiful site of lighted boats on the water.

Boats light up St. Andrews Bay starting at 5:30 PM off St. Andrew Bay Yacht Club. The boats pass by Panama City Marina (arriving about 5:40 PM), then travel to St. Andrews Marina (first boats arriving about 6:15 PM) where the parade ends. Free parking and viewing at both marinas. Website

Grand Lagoon Christmas Parade

December TBA

Parade departs Bay Point Marina and travels down Grand Lagoon past the Boatyard Restaurant, Captain Andersons, Treasure Island and Pirates Cove then returns to 30 Degree Blue at Bay Point Marina to celebrate until….



Lighted Boat Parade

December 6th 2013 6:00pm

Pensacola Beach Marina to Flounder’s. The sparkling spectacle of decorated vessels parading against a dark December sky delights those watching from the shore or a waterfront Beach business. Children are given light sticks to illuminate the Flounder’s landing site. Dozens of captains compete for prizes as the nautical parade delivers Santa Claus officially to the Island. Santa’s Workshop will host children of all ages to whisper into Santa’s ear. Free. (850) 932-1500 Website

Pine Island

Pine Island Lighted Christmeas Boat Parade

December 14, 2013 6:00pm

Enter your boat or watch the festive procession from one of the local canal-front restaurants and other viewing areas. The parade starts at 6 p.m. and parties follow throughout the island. www.pineislandboatclub.com or call 410-703-4462


Gasparilla Marina Christmas Boat Parade

December 14th, 2013 6:00pm

Gasparilla Marina Christmas Boat Parade. Saturday, Dec. 14, 6 p.m.
The parade of boats leaves the marina at 6:00 p.m. heading north on the Intracoastal to Palm Island, then back to the marina for the awarding of prizes at the marina’s Waterside Grill restaurant. 15001 Gasparilla Road, Placida. Tel: 941-697-2280

Punta Gorda

A Different Kind of Parade

December 21st, 2013 6:00 pm

Viewers get up very close to the boats at this parade that includes carolers, performers and great decorations. The 7.5-mile route is within the canal system of Punta Gorda Isles starting at Albatross Lagoon and finishing with a Grand Parade Circle at Yellow Fish Lagoon.

We’re Commercial Free ! No entry fees, no judging, just a great time! No worries from winds or tides. It’s Smooth Sailing as the entire parade is within protected waters of the PGI canal system.

We have More Participation Than Any Other Lighted Boat Parade on the Gulf Coast . Website

Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor

24th Annual Peace River Lighted Boat Parade

December 15th 2013 6:00pm ( Yes, It is on Sunday)

The festive display of lights and gorgeous reflections on the water make this annual event a definite must see! Viewings from land or on the harbor by chartered cruise or personal watercraft.
Admission: Free Tel: (941) 769-0002 Website

Redington Beach/Indian Shores

Boat Parade

December 15th 2013, 6:00pm

Starting at Tom Stewart Causeway Docking at the Pub. 727-391-3875 Website Contact Missy Clake for more details.


Alafia Lighted 29th Annual Lighted Boat Parade

December 7th, 2013 5:00pm

“The Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview would like to announce on Saturday, Dec. 7th t, we will be holding our 29th Annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade and Chili Cook Off. We have two boat entry divisions: Large Boats of 23 ft and above and Small Boats 22 ft and below. Cash prizes totaling $1,500.00 will be divided among the 1st and 2nd place winners in each division. The public is invited to view all the boats and partake of all the planed events. Starting at 5pm there will be Music, Entertainment, food and libations, Kids rides and activities, free photos with Santa, a Chili Cook Off and Silent Raffle, event will end at 9pm. Public entrance into the event is free and will be held at the Showmen’s Club, 6915 Riverview Dr., Riverview, Fl. For more information, and entry forms for your boat, or the Chili Cook Off, please visit www.FishHawkRiverviewRotary.org Hope to see you there!”


Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

December 14th, 2013 6:00 pm

The best areas for viewing are Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park.
The Parade route has been expanded by an additional turn marker at the southwest side of Bayfront Park. All boats must now pass approximately one third of the Sarasota Bay side of Bayfront Park within a few yards, to be considered for judging. The Bayfront Park spectator viewing area has been expanded to include the entire Northern tip of island near the fountain.. The VIP viewing area has been moved to the Marina Jack’s fuel dock to allow additional space for spectators. This will improve spectator viewing from Bayfront Park considerably. The SNN 6 local news staff will be covering the event throughout the evening at several areas throughout Marina Jack. Website.

St Pete/South Pasadena

St. Pete Beach and South Pasadena Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Friday December 6th 2013

The St. Pete Beach/South Pasadena Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be lighting up the waters of Boca Ciega Bay on Friday, December 9th beginning at 6pm in South Pasadena and traveling south towards Pass-a-Grille. All are invited to come to the Viewing Party, Tree Lighting and Concert in Horan Park, 7701 Boca Ciega Drive, to watch the boat parade as it passes by the Community Center.

Conatct: Info: 727-363-9245


St Pete/Vina Del Mar

Pass-a-Grille/Vina Del Mar Parade

December 7th 2013 6:00pm (Rain Date December 8th)

The parade starts in Pass-A-Grille at the Merry Pier at Dusk 6:00pm, Cash Prizes: Sail, Motor, Most Creative & Luckiest Boat. All forms can be downloaded by going to the Merry Pier website www.merrypier.com

St Petersburg

27th Annual Illuminated Boat Parade

December 14th, 2013 6:00 pm

Organized by the Rotary Club of St Petersburg, the annual Bruce Watters Jewelers Holiday Festival and Illuminated Boat Parade returns to downtown St. Petersburg this December 14, 2013. The Holiday Festival begins at 3:00pm with great live entertainment, plenty of food and drinks(including beer & wine), a variety of children’s activities and the spectacular 27th Annual Illuminated Boat Parade at 6:00pm. Proceeds from the Holiday Festival and Illuminated Boat Parade benefit local charities through the Rotary Club of St Petersburg Charitable Trust, a 501(c)3 non-profit.

The parade travels from Bayboro, passing in front of the Pier, near the shoreline in and around the Vinoy Basin and back out into Tampa Bay. For more information or to enter your boat in the parade, please visit www.stpeteboatparade.org, email us at info@stpeteboatparade.org or call 727-822-3277


Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade

December 8th, 2013 6:00 ( Free)

Paddlers & Boaters alike are welcome and needed for this magical boat parade on the beautiful Hillsborough – anything that floats qualifies! Decorate your boat and put in at Lowry Park boat ramp at 5:30 pm to be part of the parade that goes upriver with an incoming tide to the Sulphur Springs City Pool Park off Nebraska Ave. To ensure safety of all participants, paddlers lead this parade, followed by powerboats. Spectators may enjoy the parade of lights over the water -6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at: Lowry Park, from their riverfront docks (riverfront residents are encouraged to decorate their docks and enter their boats in the parade) or at Sulphur Springs City Pool Park – Nebraska Avenue south of Bird St., where there’s plenty of parking, room for viewing the parade.


Twinkle In Tampa Bay: A Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Channelside Boat Parade

December 21st 2013

The Holiday Lighted Boat Parade takes place on 21 December at 6:30pm along the water at the by Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside District. Come watch these festively decorated boats illuminate the sky and spread holiday cheer. Come down to Channelside Bay Plaza and enjoy the parade from the open wharf! You will be able to see the parade along the a great stretch of land from Davis Island to Channelside. Channelside Bay Plaza, located in the Channelside district of Tampa, is near downtown Tampa and easily accessible from the Selmon Expressway as well at I-4 and I-275 and a great place to enjoy yourself before or after the parade. Parking is available at several public parking lots. At Channelside you can find a wide variety of restaurants from Hooters to Bennigan’s and everything in between. Across the street from Channelside is a multi-level parking structure.


Tarpon Springs

Bpat Parade

December 6th, 2013 8:00pm

Our Christmas Boat Parade will be on the 1st Friday again this year (December 6th).  All the information should be the same from previous years, except we have moved it from Saturday to Friday.

We now combine it with a new event (this year, our 2nd annual!) Snow Place Like Tarpon.  The boat parade comes into Spring Bayou around 8:00 pm, as always, but we now have live reindeer, falling snow, food, vendors, carriage and hay rides and about 30,000 people!  I have never seen a more successful first-time event!!!  We have expanded it a block this year, going the full three blocks from Ring Avenue to Spring Bayou and down Safford Street.  The kids’ area will also have Christmas movies, as well as inflatables, games, food and a lot of fun!

Treasure Island

Treasure Island Holiday Boat Parade

December 21st 2013 ( Rain Date December 22nd)

Treasure Island’s Holiday Boat Parade is like Las Vegas on the water – dazzlingly decorated boats of all kinds circle the city on one special night, Saturday, December 21, 2013, in friendly competition for top prizes awarded that evening at the Treasure Island Yacht & Tennis Club.
Residents with Treasure Island waterfront homes host humungous boat parade parties but if you haven’t received an invitation, not to worry – there are plenty of prime viewing spots on the island. Website

The Treasure Island Causeway Bridge will close to vehicular traffic at 7pm on December 21, 2013 for approximately 30 to 45 minutes to allow the boat parade to pass through.


Venice Christmas Boat Parade

December 7th, 2013

Christmas in Venice…the lights, the palm tress, the waterways. Celebrate the holiday season by decorating your boat and joining in the fun! There is no better way to start the Christmas Season than by joining the fun and participating in the Venice Boat Parade of Lights. Contact Information John Osmulski at 809-8100 or email us at josmulski@gmail.com Website

Weeki Wachee

Weeki Wachee River Lighted Christmas Boat Parade

Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 at 6:30 p.m

The parade, open to all boat owners, starts at the Weeki Wachee Marina and travels past Rogers Park to the Bayport Pier.

Price: Entry fee is an unwrapped toy or cash donation, to be donated to the Dawn Center; no cost for spectators.

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Michael James
Michael James
Michael James has been with Murray Yacht Sales since 1995 and is in the the New Orleans office.

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