Boat Parades to Light Up the Florida Keys Holiday Season
Lighted and decorated boats of all shapes and sizes are to illuminate the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys in December, drawing visitors to local hubs and hotspots to watch festive boat parades and revel in the Keys’ holiday spirit.
From Key Largo to Key West, visitors can view the parades from the shore or excursion craft, or even become part of the fun by adorning their own boats with dazzling lights and eye-catching seasonal decorations.
Friday, Dec. 8, 7 p.m.
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade of Stock Island (Stock Island)
Decorated vessels ranging from dinghies and schooners to fishing boats and yachts stage a holiday cruise through the Stock Island waters and the Perry Marina. The free-to-watch boat parade is presented by the Rotary Club of Key West and the Perry Hotel & Marina, with pre-parade activities beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the lawn at the Perry, 7001 Shrimp Road. Attractions include games, activities and treats for kids, live entertainment and photos with Santa. Visit keywestrotary.com.
Saturday, Dec. 9, Dusk
Boot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade (Marathon)
Everything from lighted and decorated dinghies to sleek power craft are to cruise in the 27th annual Boot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade that is open to all boats. The festive parade begins at dusk and meanders past popular Boot Key Harbor waterfront restaurants. Parade awards and an after-party are to take place at Dockside at Boot Key Harbor, 35 Sombrero Blvd. Visit bootkeyharbor.com or call 561-542-2727.
Saturday, Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m.
Key Largo Boat Parade (Key Largo)
Boats ranging from single-person kayaks to elegant yachts are to show off festive decorations in a lively holiday procession of vessels, themed Christmas Around the World, on Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound. Great viewing spots can be found at restaurants, bars and resorts around mile markers 103-104. Visit keylargoboatparade.com.
Saturday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar/Absolut Vodka Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)
Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft, classic schooners and more are to light up the Key West Historic Seaport and harbor areas during the 32nd annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. Spectators can view the dozens of creatively bedecked vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the seaport. The holiday enjoyment begins at 6 p.m. with highlights to include a performance by students from the Bahama Village Music Program’s “House of Pan” steel band. Visit schoonerwharf.com.
Sunday, Dec. 10, Dusk
Key Colony Beach Christmas Boat Parade (Marathon Area)
Spectators can applaud vividly lit boats in the Middle Keys at the Key Colony Beach Lighted Boat Parade. Open to all boats, the parade is set to start at the 7th Street canal and wind its way through canals and cuts. Organizers advise that the best viewing spot is on the Sadowski Causeway around mile marker 53.5. Visit kcbca.org.
Saturday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m.
Kiki’s Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)
All vessels are welcome to participate in this family-friendly Lower Keys event presented by Kiki’s Sandbar, located at 183 Barry Ave. on Little Torch Key. Revelers of all ages — and even their canine companions — can celebrate the holidays by watching lighted and decorated craft promenade around the waters in front of Kiki’s. A synchronized music and drone show and an appearance by Santa are to round out the seasonal merriment. Visit kikissandbar.com or call 305-780-7753.
Florida Keys events calendar: fla-keys.com/calendar/