Set Sail with Holiday Boat Parades

Photo by Debbie Wolfe

With annual runnings and friendly decorating competitions, 2018’s holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a lighted boat parade. This list highlights just a few, plus a golf cart parade. How Florida is that? 

1) 33rd Annual Boca Ciega Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade

Join the Boca Ciega Yacht Club on Saturday, December 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. for their 33rd annual lighted Christmas boat parade. Parade-goers can expect sponsor-funded prizes, while boaters pay their entry fee with a toy donation for Operation Santa. 

Free, 4600 Tifton Dr. S., Gulfport. 727-321-7295

2) 52nd Annual Festival of Lights Madeira Beach Boat Parade

For another long-standing annual holiday event, head over to Madeira Beach on December 8 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.. The 52nd edition of the parade features decorated and lighted boats making their way from R.O.C Park to John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk. The event is organized by the Madeira Beach Municipal Marina. 

Free, 200 Rex Pl, Madeira Beach. 727-399-2631. 

3) Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade

For a boat parade that describes itself as “Las Vegas on the water,” check out the Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade. From 6 to 8:15 p.m. on December 14, enjoy a friendly holiday competition where boat-owners face off for the title of best-decorated boat.  

Looking for the best place to view the event? The Treasure Island and Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce recommends 115th Avenue on Isle of Palms, Treasure Island Causeway Bridge, Kingfish Drive at John’s Pass (Gator’s Cafe & Saloon) and Blind Pass Bridge (between Treasure Island & St. Pete Beach.) The parade starts at The Club at Treasure Island and finishes at St. John’s Pass. 

Free, 400 Treasure Island Causeway, Treasure Island. 727-367-4511. 

4) Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

For another opportunity to see lighted vessels gilded in holiday spirit, get to Indian Rocks Beach for their 18th Annual boat parade. The parade takes place on December 15 from 6 to 8 p.m., starting at the Holiday Inn fuel dock and finishing at Harbor Drive N. 

Free, Indian Rocks Beach. 727-595-2517

Bonus: Lighted Golf Cart Parade

In lieu of the annual lighted boat parade, residents of Pass-A-Grille Beach and Vina Del Mar will be joining together for a lighted golf cart parade. On December 1 from 6 to 8 p.m., watch as community golf carts loaded with decorations make their way down Gulf Way. The Facebook event encourages anyone with a golf cart to participate, adding “the more the merrier.”  For more information, including the full parade route, check out the Facebook event posting:


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