Sailing through a winter wonderland: Guide to South Florida’s holiday boat parades

South Florida will boast an embarrassment of holiday boat parade riches in December, with yachts sailing waterways decked out in twinkling lights and inflatable Santas, American flags and glowing candy canes.

Here are eight boat parades from North Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale to Miami to keep the holiday spirit afloat.

North Palm Beach

What: The rain-or-shine 28th annual Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade, once again presented by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, hits the Intracoastal at 6 p.m. Dec. 3, with free entry and thousands of dollars in prizes up for grabs for best-decorated vessels. The parade will also collect donations for Toys for Tots and Little Smiles. Wave a flashlight when you see passing boats with flashing amber beacons, and uniformed Marines and volunteers aboard will made dockside pickups for gifts. Call 561-863-0012 or go to

Routes: The parade’s twinkling procession will begin in North Palm Beach and follow the Intracoastal north to Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse (500 Captain Armours Way), led by a traveling fireworks display. There are viewing sites at North Palm Beach Marina, Juno Park, Bert Winters Park, Sawfish Bay Park and Harbourside Place.

Traffic: The Parker Avenue Bridge will open for boats starting at 6 p.m., the PGA Bridge at 6:15 p.m., the Donald Ross Bridge at 7 p.m. Finally, the Indiantown Road and Jupiter Federal bridges should raise between 7:30 and 8 p.m.

Boynton Beach and Delray Beach

What: The Boynton Beach Holiday Boat Parade, back for its 50th edition, will again light up the Intracoastal with yuletide-spangled vessels from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9. Call the city of Boynton Beach at 561-600-9097 or go to

Routes: The procession stretches between Boynton Beach Inlet south to Knowles Park (1001 S. Federal Highway) in Delray Beach. For best viewing, huddle into Boynton Harbor Marina (735 Casa Loma Blvd.), which will feature music, face painting, a Santa Claus photo op, with more viewing spots available at Intracoastal Park and Jaycee Park and in Delray Beach at Veterans Park and Knowles Park. Flag down a Toys for Tots boat with flashlights if you’re donating new unwrapped toys, or drop them into a donation box at Two Georges Restaurant.

Traffic: Parking is abundant at many of the viewing parks along the parade route, but most visitors will park at Boynton Harbor Marina.

Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point and Deerfield Beach

What: With a longer name than ever, the 60th edition of the Chaos Fishing Greater Pompano Beach/Lighthouse Point/Deerfield Beach Holiday Boat Parade will float down the Intracoastal from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 9. The flotilla of 50-plus boats is free and sponsored by Chaos Fishing, and the entire parade also will be livestreamed on Pompano Beach Chamber’s Facebook page. Call 954-941-2940 or go to

Routes: Because the procession stretches from Lake Santa Barbara north to Hillsboro Boulevard, there will be two public viewing stands at Sullivan Park (1633 Riverview Road, Deerfield Beach) and Alsdorf Park (2901 NE 14th St., Pompano Beach).

Traffic: Bridges on Atlantic Boulevard, 14th Street Causeway and Hillsboro Boulevard will be locked upright from 6 p.m. until the final boat passes by.

Fort Lauderdale

What: It’s a grand marshal trifecta of pop music as Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, two-fifths of once-ubiquitous boy band NSYNC, and “Tell It to My Heart” singer Taylor Dayne helm the 51st Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat parade at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10. The best family-friendly perch is the Parade Viewing Area at Las Olas Intracoastal Promenade Park, 300 Las Olas Circle ($25 for adults, $20 for children 10 and younger). Chairs will be provided, and music acts Shane Duncan Band and Southern Blood will perform. The parade also will be streamed live via Winterfest’s Facebook page. A week later, it will be broadcast at 9 p.m. Dec. 17 on WSVN-Ch. 7. Call 954-241-7938 or go to

Routes: Stretching from the Broward Center in downtown Fort Lauderdale north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach, the 12-mile route will feature by far South Florida’s biggest fleet of yachts and boats decked out with holiday decorations.

Traffic: Schedules for all bridge closings (and there are many) are listed on the Winterfest Boat Parade website.


What: For suburban Palm Beachers unwilling to schlep east to the Intracoastal, the Holiday Boat Parade on Lake Wellington is a fine alternative. A collection of 30 festooned boats will bob through the waters of Lake Wellington at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Call 561-753-2484 or go to and the event’s Facebook page.

Routes: Launching from Meadowland Cove around 6:20 p.m., the flotilla will pass behind the Wellington Community Center (12150 Forest Hill Blvd.) at 6:30 p.m., then loop around the lake.

Traffic: Parking is abundant in the lots next to Wellington Community Center and Village Hall, accessible via Town Center Drive (12198 Forest Hill Blvd.) Visitors should bring their own seating.


What: The 8th annual Lake Osborne Holiday Boat Parade is back at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16, and organizers report roughly 50 to 55 vessels bedecked in twinkling lights and glowing candy canes will cruise in a loop around the lake. The procession is funded by the Osborne Yacht Club and by donations from Lantana-area residents. Visit the parade’s Facebook page.

Routes: Stretching two hours, the parade will kick off with fireworks outside The Hive Waterfront Restaurant and Tiki Bar (the former Anchor Inn at 2412 Floral Road, Lantana) at 7:30 p.m., then follow the east shoreline, passing by Lantana Road by 8 p.m., and continue in a northern loop around the entire lake before finishing back at the Hive. The best vantage points are anywhere along Lake Osborne Drive, the Lantana Road bridge and the campground at John Prince Park (2700 Sixth Ave. S., Lake Worth). Volunteers will collect unwrapped Toys for Tots donations at the Hive’s eastside dock.

Traffic: Parking is plentiful at the Hive and along Lake Osbourne Drive.

Boca Raton

What: The city’s 48th annual Holiday Boat Parade will light up the Intracoastal from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 17, with $1,000 in prizes heading to winners in three categories (vessels under 25 feet, 26 to 34 feet, over 35 feet). Call 561-393-7700 go to

Routes: The procession will begin at the C-15 canal (on the Delray-Boca border) and travel south to the Hillsboro Boulevard bridge, and visitors can view the parade at free staging areas at Red Reef Park (1400 N. Ocean Blvd.), Wildflower Park (551 E. Palmetto Park Road) and from Silver Palm Park (600 E. Palmetto Park Road).

Traffic: Parking is limited at Wildflower and Silver Palm Parks, but there’s plenty at Red Reef Park.


What: After skipping in-person festivities in 2020 and 2021, the Miami Outboard Club’s 24th Holiday Boat Parade will blanket Biscayne Bay in Christmas colors starting at 7 p.m. Dec. 17, climaxing with a fireworks show at 8:45 p.m. at Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Before and during the parade, visitors can donate unwrapped toys at Miami Outboard Club (1099 MacArthur Causeway) to benefit Centro Hispano Catolico Child Care Center and Centro Mater Foundation. Call 305-668-6176 or go to

Routes: Between 50 and 60 motorboats will begin their procession along the Bayfront Park shoreline and hang north, passing under the MacArthur Causeway, then weaving around Star, Palm and Hibiscus Islands before looping back to Bayfront.

Traffic: As always, parking is limited in Miami, but metered spaces and parking garages are sprinkled around downtown Miami. The best viewing areas are Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Blvd.), Bayfront Park and Brickell.