Four Holiday Parades You Don’t Want To Miss
By Caroline Bell
Holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes a slew of celebratory events throughout the country. Most cities will host a holiday parade, but what most cities don’t have during the holidays is sunny skies and balmy temperatures. That’s what makes the holidays so special here in South Florida (besides the presents and pie, of course). Here are four local holiday parades where you can enjoy a Floridian winter wonderland:
Winterfest Boat Parade: The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts this event every year in Fort Lauderdale, and this year’s parade will be held on Saturday, December 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dubbed “the greatest show on H2O,” the 48th Annual Winterfest Boat Parade starts at Stranahan House traveling East along the New River in Fort Lauderdale to the Intracoastal Waterway as it continues North to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. Tickets to the Winterfest Grandstand Viewing Area are $30 per adult and $25 per child, and can be purchased online. The ticket gives you access to the pre-parade festivities, which begin at 3:30 p.m. at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Boca Raton Holiday Parades: The City of Boca Raton hosts two parades – a street parade and a boat parade. On Wednesday, December 11, the 49th Annual Holiday Street Parade will begin at 7:30 pm at Federal Highway and Southeast Fifth Street and travel north to Mizner Park Amphitheater. Spectators can watch more than 70 “Out of This World” themed floats travel through downtown Boca Raton for free. For $20, you can participate in the one-mile race down Federal Highway 15 minutes before the parade begins. Race entry comes with chip timing, a T-shirt, and a Five Guys cheeseburger. The 43rd Annual Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade is held on Sunday, December 15 at 6:30 pm. The boats sail from the C-15 canal at the Intracoastal Waterway south to the Hillsboro Bridge and the best viewing spots are Red Reef Park (West), the Wildflower Property, or Silver Palm Park.
Delray Beach Holiday Parades: Lucky for us, the City of Delray Beach also hosts two parades. The 48th Annual Holiday Boat Parade is held Friday, December 13 and is a great festival of lights. The parade begins in Boynton Beach at the Boynton Harbor Marina at 6:30 p.m. where there’s live music to set the stage for the parade. The boats then travel through Delray Beach to the C-15 canal at the Delray Beach and Boca Raton border. Continuing the celebrations, mark your calendars for the City’s A Comic Con Holiday Parade, held Saturday, December 14 at 6 p.m. The parade begins at the Intracoastal bridge and travels all the way west to Northwest Fifth Avenue. You can watch floats, bands, cheer groups and fire trucks march down the road while dining at one of the many award winning restaurants on Atlantic Avenue.
Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade: Not only does this parade showcase some of the biggest and best boats in Palm Beach, it doubles as a charity toy drive. The 25th Annual Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade & 20th Annual Toy Drive is held on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. and partners with Toys for Tots to collect toys for local kids in need. Boats will pull up to the dock to collect donations before setting sail at the North Palm Beach Marina and travel all the way up to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, where the grand finale takes place. The parade is free and can be viewed from Juno Park, Bert Winters Park, Waterway Park, Sawfish Bay Park, Jupiter Riverwalk or Lighthouse Park.
With all the exciting festivities just around the corner, don’t forget the true meaning of the holidays – bragging to your freezing Northern friends about the weather. So join the party and get your parade on.