Note: There are no more holiday boat parades scheduled after December 18 in 2022. This guide will be updated for 2023 in the coming months. Thank you for visiting!
Tips for watching Christmas holiday boat parades
- Drawbridges close to traffic for hours to allow boats to pass. If you need to cross a bridge along the parade route, you need a plan.
- Restaurants with outdoor dining are great places to view parades. Make reservations several weeks in advance.
- Public parks along parade routes are excellent viewpoints. Bring beach chairs.
- Masks are advised given the emergence of new COVID strains, flu and RSV viruses.
- Arrive early. Most boat parades start at dusk, between 6-7 pm.
2022 Holiday Boat Parades
Saturday, November 26, 2022
OK Jacksonville Lighted Boat Parade and fireworks show can be clearly viewed from the north and south banks of the St. Johns River. The parade route will begin at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel and follow the Northbank Riverwalk to the Fuller Warren Bridge. The parade will then cross to the south bank and follow along the Southbank Riverwalk to the Duval County School Board building. Parade, 6 p.m.
Friday, December 2, 2022
OK Tarpon Springs Illuminated Boat Parade. Vessels will proceed down the Anclote River at 6:30 pm and into the bayous where Santa will give out treats in Spring Bayou. Your best bet for viewing these holiday decorated vessels is from Craig Park/Spring Bayou. Boats are scheduled to pass Craig Park for judging at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge to participate, but all vessels must be registered to enter.
Saturday, December 3, 2022
OK Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade. Departs Cimmaron Basin at 6 pm, passing Tidelands, Marina Cove, the Hammock, Yacht Harbor Village and Palm Coast Legacy Resort. Then under Hammock Dunes Bridge along St. Joe’s Walkway and Canopy Walk, past Island Estates, Waterfront Park and Grand Haven before dispersing at Clubhouse Waterway. Parade sponsored by the Palm Coast Yacht Club.
OK Mount Dora Lighted Boat Parade, Downtown Waterfront and Donnelly Park, beginning at the Lighthouse across from Gilbert Park on Tremain Street and Liberty Street. 7:30 p.m. From 6 to 9pm, the Marine Corp Reserve will be on-hand to welcome guests into the marina for the donation of a new unwrapped toy or cash donation. Come bring a toy for the kids and see the light display up close!
OK Alafia Lighted Boat Parade, Riverview Park & Civic Center. This year’s parade will start at Williams Park and will conclude at River’s Edge for awards and a special VIP party. (First Saturday in December). 5-8 pm.
OK. Bradenton Beach Boat Parade, Parade participants will gather near the south end of Jewfish Key. The parade will head northwest along the Longboat Pass Bridge and then north up the Intracoastal Waterway. The parade will pass alongside the Bradenton Beach City Pier and end at the Bradenton Beach Marina. Best viewing from Longboat Pass Bridge (6-6:30 PM), Bradenton Beach City Pier (6:30 PM to 7:00 PM).
OK. Cotee River Christmas Boat Parade, New Port Richie. Along the Pithlachascotee River from Miller’s Bayou in Port Richey to Sims Park. 6 to 8 p.m.
OK. Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Along the Halifax River. Sponsored by the Halifax River Yacht Club to benefit the Veterans Support Fund. Watch the boats travel south along the Halifax River starting at the Seabreeze Bridge and culminate at the Halifax Harbor Marina for a truly spectacular boat show. Prime viewing areas of the parade are the Chart House Restaurant, Daytona Marina and Boat Works, City Island, Manatee Island, Halifax Harbor Marina. Starts at 6 p.m.
OK. Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade, Decorated boats parade through the Dunedin Marina and Edgewater Park. Santa to arrive by boat for the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. Starts at Marker 1 Marina and ends at City of Dunedin Marina. (First Saturday in December) Sponsored by the Dunedin Boat Club. 5-9 p.m.
Unlikely. Everglades City Boat Parade. The boat parade will start at the mouth of the Barron River at 5:30 p.m. and motor towards the School. To watch the parade, find a spot along the Barron River. Please be respectful of the docks and boats and be sure to watch the children.
Unlikely. Fort Myers Beach Boat Parade. The parade begins at Salty Sam’s Marina and will pass though Matanzas Harbor and the first two canals of Siesta Isles. The hammerheads at the end of those canals are a great spot to set up a lawn chair to watch the event. Another good viewing location is the fountain next to Nervous Nellies. Starts at 6 pm.
OK. Palm Beach and Jupiter Holiday Boat Parade, North Palm Beach to Jupiter. The parade begins at North Palm Beach Marina on Marina Drive, traveling north along the Intracoastal Waterway to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. Sponsored by the Marine Industries Association. Benefits Toys for Tots. A “toy fleet” of volunteer boats traveling the parade route will make dockside pickups during the parade. Wave a flashlight when you see a boat with a flashing amber beacon or Toys for Tots signage. 6-9 pm. Viewing at North Palm Beach Marina, Juno Park, Bert Winters Park, Sawfish Bay Park and Harbourside Place.
OK. Palm Valley Boat Parade. Starts one mile south of the Palm Valley Bridge (CR 210) and proceeds north to the last home in Marsh Landing, approximately 7 miles. Viewing near the bridge, or at the end of Canal Street, Mickler’s Wharf, or restaurants along Roscoe Blvd. Begins at 6 pm and reaches the final viewpoint by 9:30 pm.
OK Sarasota Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. 6:45 pm. The best areas for viewing are Marina Jack Restaurant, Bayfront Park, City Island and Centennial Park. Bayfront Park spectator viewing area has been expanded and the parade route extended.
OK St. Lucie County Boat Parade, Fort Pierce. Parade route begins at Taylor Creek near Harbortown Marina, 6 pm, and proceeds past the South Beach Causeway, turning around at Fort Pierce Inlet, south to the Fort Pierce City Marina and will end at Causeway Cove Marine. The parade can be enjoyed from restaurants, parks and other locations along the water.
OK. Venice Christmas Boat Parade. The parade starts just north of the Albee Road bridge and continues south on the Intracoastal and out to the channel marker in the jetty before doubling back and continuing south on the Intracoastal to the Circus Bridge (near the airport). (First Saturday in December) Begins at 6 pm.
Sunday, December 4, 2022
OK. Leesburg Christmas on the Water. Venetian Gardens Park. Ski Beach. Food served from 5 p.m. Entertainment, 5:30 p.m. Light Up Venetian Gardens, 6 pm. Boat parade 6:15 pm. The 2021 parade is scheduled for Dec. 5, 2021
Friday, December 9, 2022
OK. Boynton Beach/Delray Beach Holiday Boat Parade. The parade begins at Boynton Beach Inlet and proceeds south along the Intracoastal Waterway to Knowles Park. Best viewing at Boynton Harbor Marina (Two George’s Restaurant and Banana Boat), Intracoastal Park, Jaycee Park. In Delray Beach you can see the parade at Veterans Park and Knowles Park. Bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. 6:30-9 p.m.
OK Cocoa Village Holiday Boat Parade. 6-7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Sharing Center of Central Florida. Cocoa Riverfront Park, 401 Riveredge Blvd, Cocoa, FL
OK. Pompano Beach/Lighthouse Point/Deerfield Beach Holiday Boat Parade. From Lake Santa Barbara, the parade goes north under the Atlantic Boulevard and 14th Street Causeway to Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach. Public viewing stands at Sullivan Park (1633 Riverview Road, Deerfield Beach) and Alsdorf Park (2901 NE 14th St., Pompano Beach). This is the longest running holiday boat parade in the nation. 6-9 p.m.
OK South Pasadena Lighted Boat Parade. Kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on the northeast side of Pasadena Isle just outside Marine Max St. Petersburg, then follows the coastline of South Pasadena, going under the Corey Causeway bridge, then through the inlets near Harbourside Condominiums and Bay Island Condominiums, ending behind Causeway Village and The Fountains. Viewing party at Barbara Gilberg Habitat, 1600 Pasadena Avenue South. Boaters can register here.
OK. St. Lucie County Holiday Boat Parade. Viewing at restaurants, parks and other locations along the route including along the Inlet, to Harbor Town, to City Marina and finish at Causeway Cove for the awards ceremony, where there will be Legit’s Cuts Downtown Toy Drive, food, drink and a winter wonderland party.
Cancelled Tomoka River Christmas Boat Parade, Ormond Beach. Cozy up riverside and watch the 7th annual Tomoka River Christmas Boat Parade. Best viewing from Ormond Outdoor Adventures, 1385 North US Highway 1, Ormond Beach, or the River Grille on the Tomoka River, 950 N. U.S. 1, Ormond Beach. Bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to Volusia County Toys for Tots. Bring lawn chairs for comfort to Ormond Outdoor Adventures, where a food truck will be on hand for munchies.
Saturday, December 10, 2022
OK. Apollo Beach Lighted Boat Parade and Chili Cook-Off, 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd. Apollo Beach. The parade will begin at dusk near marker 12 in the south basin of Apollo BeachCharity event sponsored by the Tampa Sailing Squadron. 6-9 p.m.
OK. Boot Key Harbor Christmas Parade, Marathon. Parade starts at 6 p.m. from the west end of Boot Key Harbor and transits the harbor. Good viewing from Marathon Marina, Lazy Days South, Panchos Fuel Dock, Burdines Waterfront & Sombrero Marina Dockside. Unconfirmed
OK. Carabelle Holiday on the Harbor and Boat Parade of Lights. Along the Carrabelle River, east of Apalachicola on U.S. 98. Followed by a fireworks show. Enjoy music while holiday shopping with downtown merchants and festival vendors from 11 am-6 pm. Visit your favorite local restaurant or dine with one of our vendors. Lots of fun for the children to see and do, including a visit with Santa! At dark-30, watch the Boat Parade of Lights along the Carrabelle River from your favorite viewing spot with a Fireworks Show Finale.
OK Christmas on the Braden River Old Florida Holiday Boat Parade. Decorated boats meet at Jiggs Landing, 6106 63rd St E, Bradenton. At 6:30 p.m. boats, including motorboats, kayaks and canoes, will line up near the floating dock. The parade will circle the reservoir and then go to the Old Florida waterfront restaurant, Linger Lodge, which takes about one hour and15 minutes to reach. Every boat should make a reservation at Linger Lodge at 7:45 p.m. Some tickets for a seat on a decorated boat are available at Jigg’s Landing, where you also can rent a boat to decorate. Go to www.JiggsLanding.com and go to “Book Tours”.
OK. Clearwater Holiday Lighted Boat Parade. Beginning in Mandalay Channel at 6 p.m., boats travel along the inlets of Island Estates before going under the Memorial Causeway Bridge and finishing at the Clearwater Yacht Club, 830 Bayway Blvd. Parade to pass Coachman Park around 8:30 p.m. Free and family-friendly!
OK. Cocoa Beach Christmas Boat Parade Starting at Marker 101 near Centennial Park on State Road 520 (across from Cape Canaveral Hospital) at 6:30 p.m. Best Places to Watch: Sunset Cafe, 520 and Banana River; Wildlife Watersports, 129 Manatee Lane; End of S. Banana River Blvd.; Cove Park, 540 McNabb Pkwy (just west of the end of 3rd St. North) 6:30-10 p.m.
OK. Fort Lauderdale Winterfest Boat Parade. The grand poobah of holiday boat parades in Florida returns to the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale and moves east to the Intracoastal Waterway, then north on the Intracoastal to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Prime viewing areas at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park and Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park (300 Las Olas Circle). 6:30-9:30 pm
OK. Homosassa River Christmas Boat Parade. Beginning at dusk by Bird Island and ending at the Homosassa Springs Marina. Enjoy cocoa, cookies and a bonfire at Old Homosassa Heritage Park. Good viewing also at Shed at MacRae’s, Riverside Resort, Monkey Bar, Seagrass, Margarita Grill and anywhere in between.
OK. Key Largo Boat Parade. Blackwater Sound will shimmer as decorated boats parade along the shoreline in celebration of the holiday season. Best viewing and libations at Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Sundowner’s, and the Caribbean Club, MM 103-104 Bayside. Parade starts at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by Rotary Club of Key Largo Sunset.
OK. Key West Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade, 8:00 p.m. Scores of delightfully decorated motor and sailing vessels compete for bragging rights (and prizes!) Don’t forget the conch shells, add a sprinkling of the Grinch, spinning ornaments, dancing gingerbread men, and you have the makings of a Key West maritime holiday tradition. The Judges’ Stand is located at Schooner Wharf. Key West Bight Marina at the Historic Seaport in Key West. Festivities begin at 6 pm at Schooner Wharf.
OK. 55th Annual Festival of Lights Illuminated Boat Parade in Madeira Beach. 6:45 pm. 52nd annual Boat Parade will kick off at John’s Pass with a shop local holiday extravaganza, tree lighting, and boat parade kickoff party. Head to ROC park for the best view of the parade and to enjoy holiday music, food, and spirits.
OK. Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade, Bradenton. The boat parade gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Arrive downtown early for Sounds of the Season, the annual Christmas celebration on Old Main Street sponsored by Realize Bradenton. Sounds of the Season continues until 10 p.m., so you can go after the boat parade, too. Special viewing events scheduled at Caddy’s Bradenton and Pier 22.
OK. Martin County Holiday Boat Parade. 6:30 p.m. Participating vessels will assemble just south of the Jensen Beach Causeway. Boats will proceed southeasterly following the official channel markers ending in the Manatee Pocket and proceeding to the after party at The Twisted Tuna. Viewing at restaurants, parks and other locations along the route including the Stuart Causeway, Jensen Beach Causeway, Sandsprit Park, anywhere in the Manatee Pocket.
OK. Christmas Boat Parade on Naples Bay. 6:15 pm to 8:30 pm. The parade may be viewed from: Naples City Dock (ticketed), Pinchers Tin City, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, The Boat House on Naples Bay, and Bayview Park. Admission is free.
OK New Smyrna Beach Boat Parade. The parade will pass Riverside Park in Historic Downtown NSB, then along the North Causeway to the Riverview, then west parallel to Bouchelle Island back to Riverside Park. Spectators can also see the parade along Riverside Drive, Smyrna Yacht Club, Riverside Park, Anglers’ Yacht Club, NSB Boat & Ski Club, Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille, The Grille at Riverview. 2023 information.
OK. St. Augustine Holiday Regatta of Lights 6 pm. 39th year held on the bayfront north of the Bridge of Lions. Reflects the maritime heritage of the Oldest City and is in keeping with St. Augustine’s historical seaborne image. Hosted by The St. Augustine Yacht Club. Sailboats, sport-fishermen, trawlers, shrimp boats, and many other vessels take part. For best viewing, sit along the bayfront by the seawall or enjoy the view from the many restaurants that face the bay.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
OK. Destin Harbor Lights Boat Parade, Watch the Destin Boat Parade from various waterfront restaurants in Harborwalk Village, the Destin Bridge, the docks of the Harborwalk Boardwalk, and from the beaches at Norriego Point. The Boat Parade will light up the harbor beginning at 6 pm with fireworks following the parade about 7:30 pm.
OK. Key Colony Beach Lighted Boat Parade. Along the 7th Street canal, Key Colony Beach. Begins at dusk.
Friday, December 16, 2022
OK Lake Osborne Holiday Boat Parade, Lantana. 7:30 pm. Starting at the The Hive Waterfront Restaurant and Tiki Bar (formerly the Anchor Inn), arriving at the area of Lantana Road and Lake Osborne Drive at 8 pm. The boats will continue north to the Lake Worth Road boat ramp, then loop around the entire lake. Great viewing areas in John Prince Park and the campground area.
Saturday, December 17, 2022
OK. Boca Ciega Yacht Club’s Holiday Boat Parade in Gulfport. The 36th annual parade presented by the Boca Ciega Yacht Club will kick off at 6 p.m. starting at Osgood Point. The parade continues to the Municipal Marina, on to Gulfport’s Williams Pier, Casino, and beach before moving on to Town Shores, Kipp’s Colony, Skimmer’s Point, and other communities. Free and family-friendly!
OK. Boca Raton Boat Parade. 6:30-8 p.m. The 47th Annual Holiday Boat Parade lights up the Intracoastal beginning at C-15 Canal, traveling south from Delray Beach with bleacher viewing at Red Reef Park (1400 N. Ocean Blvd.). Also, Wildflower Park (551 E. Palmetto Park Road) and Silver Palm Park (600 E. Palmetto Park Road). Parking limited at Wildflower and Silver Palm Parks, but adequate at Red Reef Park.
OK. Indian River County Holiday Boat Parade, Vero Beach. Begins at 6 p.m. on the Intracoastal Waterway between the two bridges and finish at the Vero Beach City Marina. Viewing stations include Royal Palm Point and Vero Beach City Marina. Consider taking lawn chairs and blankets for seating. The event is free for spectators and participants.
OK. Punta Gorda Boat Parade, Punta Gorda Isles. 6:30 pm. The parade route is within Punta Gorda Isles. Best place to view is from a boat. There are no designated public viewing areas on land along the 4.5-mile parade route. There are many viewing areas along the new leg of the Parade off of Almar Dr. Do not park on the street. Bring chairs.
OK. Tampa Riverwalk Lighted Boat Parade. Along the water at the by Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside District. Parking is available at several public parking lots.
OK. Treasure Island Holiday Boat Parade. The Holiday Celebration begins at 5 p.m. at the Treasure Bay Recreation Facility, 10315 Paradise Boulevard, with the Boat Parade leaving at 6:20 p.m. Viewing areas are the City of Treasure Island Golf Course at Treasure Bay, along the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, and at John’s Pass.
Sunday, December 18, 2022
OK. Redington Beach and Indian Shores Holiday Boat Parade. From the Tom Stuart Causeway to Caddy’s Pub restaurant in Indian Shores. The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. Prizes will be awarded after the parade that evening at Caddy’s Pub, 20025 Gulf Blvd, Indian Shores.
If you have corrections or additions to this listing, please send them to email@example.com or add them in comments below.
Thanks to Alexa Hogan, Bonnie Gross and others for contributing to this report.
Notes from the editor:
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change without notice. Confirm details when planning visits.
This page may include affiliate links from which we earn modest commissions if a purchase is made.
This article is property of FloridaRambler.com, protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Re-publication without written permission is against the law.
Bob Rountree is a beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 12 years ago.