One of the highlights of the Christmas season is the annual lighted boat parades in the various communities along the Gulf coast of the area. Ship captains and crews go all out to create a real holiday spirit with lights and other decorations designed to captivate the people who come out to watch and, occasionally, to win prizes in the local competitions. More than 70 Illuminated Boat Parades are scheduled in Florida this year, from Pensacola to Key West. There are some great boat parades this weekend especially in South Pinellas! Here are three well established Boat Parades we found that you can attend free of charge this weekend in Destination Tampa Bay™.. Many of them have multiple things going on beside the boat parade. So check out the details.
The Boca Ciega Yacht Club 35th Annual Lighted Boat Parade
The Boca Ciega Yacht Club (BCYC), a not for profit
organization, is announcing the 35th year of its Lighted Christmas Boat
Parade which will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2020 beginning at 6:30
p.m.-8:30 p.m. BCYC conducts the boat parade to generate donations and other support for the Gulfport Police Department’s Operation Santa charity which provides gifts to children whose Christmas’s would otherwise be less
joyous without the generous support of the Gulfport community. This year
will mark BCYC’s 20th year of proudly supporting this wonderful program.
The Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade is an all-volunteer event organized by the members of BCYC and is an event happily shared with the
residents of Gulfport, South Pasadena, and St. Petersburg. Members spend
many hours planning and then decorating their boats for maximum enjoyment.
This year has been a very hard year for everyone and BCYC is happy to “flip it” so instead of soliciting donations from local businesses to be prizes for the boat captains, BCYC will instead purchase gift certificates from the local businesses as the prizes. We want to support our local community in a year that has been difficult and as many of our long-time supporters are struggling.
The parade will begin by entering the Gulfport Municipal Marina at
approximately 6:30 pm. It will then travel past the William’s Pier &
Casino in Gulfport past the beaches and into the canals of Town Shores
Condominiums and Pasadena Yacht Club Estates before returning to BCYC.
This year, due to social-distancing and other safety protocols, BCYC has
canceled the post-parade party.
There is an entry fee for each boat of two unwrapped toys or a monetary
donation (checks must be made out to “Operation Santa”). Each year toys
are collected for “Operation Santa,” and presented to Gulfport’s Police
Department for distribution to needy children. Both sail and power boats
are welcome to join in the fun and this event is open to both members and
Boat Registrations have closed. Download the 2020 boat parade map For more details visit http://www.sailbcyc.org/ChristmasBoatParade
54th Annual Madeira Beach Festival of Lights & Merry Beach Market
Join the City of Madeira Beach in R.O.C. Park on Dec. 12th for the Merry Beach Market at 2 p.m. hosted by the Treasure Island Chamber of Commerce and stay to watch the 54th Annual Holiday Boat Parade which begins at 6:30 p.m- 9:30 p.m. *Interested vendors contact the Treasure Island Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce for availability- 727-360-4121
Pass-a-Grille and Vina Del Mar Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
The historic Merry Pier located in Pass-A-Grille (RIGHT), Florida, and is a world famous fishing and boating destination. Here, you’ll find a friendly store, boat excursions, a fresh fish market, and fabulous fishing. Common catches include flounder, snapper, snook, redfish, mackerel, and many others. Pass-a-Grille and Vina Del Mar’s will be celebrating their Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on December 12th leaving Merry Pier at 6 p.m-9p.m. Get all the details at merrypier.com.
For other great Holiday ideas consider the Tarpon Spring Annual Christmas Parade and Dunedin’s Old Fashion Christmas here. And no Holiday would be complete without a visit to the Holiday Lights in the Garden.