During the month of December Tampa Bay neighborhoods and boats are ablaze with festive lights. Holiday lighted boat parades are a Florida tradition and the bay area has carried on that tradition for decades. Almost every community in the bay area that is on or near water celebrates the holidays with their own illuminated boat parade. Here’s our list of Tampa Bay’s best holiday lighted boat parades for 2013.
Twinkle In Tampa Bay
Channelside Boat Parade
Date: Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6:30pm
This Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade takes place along the water at the by Davis Island, Harbour Island and the Channelside District. You will be able to see the parade along the a great stretch of land from Davis Island to Channelside near downtown Tampa. Channelside Bay Plaza is a great place to enjoy yourself before or after the parade. Parking is available at several public parking lots. Channelside offers a wide variety of restaurants from Hooters to Spiltsville and everything in between. Across the street from Channelside is a multi-level parking structure.
Treasure Island Holiday Boat Parade
Date: Saturday, Dec 21 from 6:00 – 8:30 PM
The parade begins at The Club at Treasure Island at 6:20 pm at 400 Treasure Island Causeway and ends at John’s Pass around 8:30pm, passing through the channel at the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge (an excellent viewing spot) around 7pm. Pre-parade party at The Club at 4pm. Rain date: Sunday, Dec. 22. The Treasure Island Causeway Bridge will close to vehicular traffic at 7pm on December 21 or the rain date the 22 for approximately 30 to 45 minutes to allow the boat parade to pass through.
Island Estates Yacht Club Boat Parade
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 pm
The vessels will assemble at the Mandalay Channel between Island Estates and Clearwater Beach at 6 p.m. and head north through the channel, arriving at Coachman Park by about 8 p.m. They then navigate under the Memorial Causeway Bridge to the Clearwater Yacht Club for judging.
St Petersburg Annual Illuminated Boat Parade
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 6:00 pm
This is a day long family festival in downtown St. Petersburg’s Vinoy park. Food and drinks, great live entertainment, a variety of children’s activities and the spectacular 26th Annual Illuminated Boat Parade in the evening. Parade is free but there is a festival admission. The parade travels from Bayboro, passing in front of the Pier near the shoreline in and around the Vinoy Basin and then back out into Tampa Bay.
Cortez/Longboat Key/ Bradenton Beach
10th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade
Date: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2013 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm
This parade, organized by the Cortez Yacht Club, is for community enjoyment in conjunction with Manatee Toys for Tots and Christmas on Bridge Street festivities in Bradenton Beach. Parade will begin on the north end of Longboat Key near Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, and will proceed north along the Intracoastal Waterway to finish for judging at the Seafood Shack Marina.
Redington Beach/Indian Shores
Illuminated Boat Parade
Date: Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6:00 PM
This boat parade starts in Madeira North of the Tom Stuart Causeway and runs north pass the public view area at Indian Shores Town Hall. The Pub in Indian Shores will host refreshments and the Awards Presentation. The website shows the parade route and best areas for public viewing.