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The holidays are upon us and we are geographically blessed to be able to experience great weather and holiday boat parades to celebrate. So what better way to celebrate the season than with a festive holiday-themed one on the water? Our guide covers all the boat parades in Tampa Bay throughout the month of December 2023.

Boat parades are just one of many free holiday events in Tampa Bay this season.

Annual Tarpon Springs Holiday Boat Parade 

Friday. December 1. 2023 at 8 p.m.
Vessels will begin at Captain Jacks with anchors away at 7pm and proceed down the Anclote River and into the bayous. Public viewing areas include Sponge Docks, Whitcomb Bayou, Craig Park & Spring Bayou. Boats should arrive at Whitcomb Bayou at approximately 8 pm.

Dunedin Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting

Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.
Ring in the holidays during this traditional waterfront celebration as decorated boats parade through the Marina. Festivities during this event also include Santa’s arrival (on the last boat of the parade), holiday music, S’Mores and the tree lighting ceremony in Edgewater Park.

The parade begins at Marker 1 Marina and ends at Dunedin Marina at 7:00 p.m. dunedingov.com

57th Annual Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Boat Parade

December 9, 2023 from 6:30pm-10pm
The parade will start at 6:30pm at American Legion Post 273 and end at John’s Pass. For more information, please contact the Marina at 727-399-2631

READ MORE: Best Holiday Light Displays

Indian Rocks Beach Boat Parade

Saturday, December 16, 2023, 7pm Cancelled due to inclement weather
Parade lineup at Holiday Inn Harbor Side. Parade will begin at the Walsingham Bridge, winding through the fingers and ending at Harbor Drive North. 

38th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade

Saturday, December 9, 2023, 6pm
Begins at Gulfport Municipal Marina
See the parade from Osgood Point, Gulfport Municipal Marina, Williams Pier, Gulfport Beach and Casino, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, Pasadena Golf Club Estates and Isla del Sol. Routes are subject to change.

Treasure Island Holiday Lighted Boat Parade and Celebration

Saturday, December 22, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. (Originally scheduled for December 16)
The parade will begin promptly at 6:20 p.m. just south of the Treasure Island Bridge. The route travels south of Paradise Island, back through the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge at 7 p.m., around the Isles of Palms and Capri, and finishes at John’s Pass at approximately 8:15 p.m.

The parade can be viewed from a spectacular vantage point and guests can participate in the events at Treasure Bay. A DJ, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, interactive entertainers, and food and beverage concessions will be available.

Neighborhood Weeki Wachee Boat Parade

Saturday, December 23, 2023 at 5:30pm (Originally scheduled for December 15)
Boats will line up at Rogers Park at 5:30 and head down the river at 6pm to the end of the houses, where they’ll turn around and head back up. The boat parade will be raising money for six animal shelters and rescues. They are also accepting pet supplies such as blankets, food, pet toys, leashes, etc. Donations can be brought to “the kayak shack.” Viewing can be from the Upper Deck Cafe (you must be a patron) Rogers Park, and anywhere along the route.

Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Saturday, December 23, 2023
Tampa’s largest boat parade begins at the southern tip of Davis Islands, travels through the Convention Center basin and up to the Heights where the boats will turn around and head to Sparkman Wharf. Boats will be judges by pairs from Big Brothers and Big Sisters and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners of the sailboat and motorboat competitions will each receive a trophy.

Many viewing spots along the Riverwalk between Armature Works all the way through the Sail Pavilion and over by Sparkman Wharf provide fantastic views of the parade. thetampariverwalk.com

Free holiday events in Tampa - Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Boat Parade
Image credit: Tampa Riverwalk

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