FLORIDA KEYS — Lighted and decorated boats of all shapes and sizes are to illuminate the crystalline waters of the Florida Keys in December, drawing visitors to local hubs to watch five boat parades and catch the Keys’ holiday spirit.
From Key Largo to Key West, visitors can view the parades from the shore or excursion boats, or even become part of the festivities by decking out their own boats in dazzling lights and eye-catching seasonal decorations.
Saturday, Dec. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Key Largo Holiday Lighted 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 on Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound. Great viewing spots can be found at Sundowners, Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Señor Frijoles, the Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort and Caribbean Club, all around mile markers (MMs) 103-104.
For more information, visit www.keylargoboatparade.com.
Saturday, Dec. 12, sunset (around 6 p.m.)
Boot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade (Marathon)
At this Middle Keys holiday event, dinghies, mega-yachts and vessels in between are to cruise the harbor in a sparkling procession. The best viewing sites include Lazy Days South, Marathon Marina, Dockside Tropical Café and Burdines Waterfront around MMs 47-50. For more information, visit www.bootkeyharbor.com/Parade.html.
Saturday, Dec. 12, 8 p.m.
Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade (Key West)
Festively decorated kayaks, fishing craft and schooners are to light up Key West’s Historic Seaport and harbor areas during the annual Schooner Wharf Bar Lighted Boat Parade. Spectators can view the dozens of participating vessels from resorts, bars and restaurants in and around the Historic Seaport. For more information, visit www.schoonerwharf.com.
Sunday, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m.
Key Colony Beach Holiday Lighted 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. The best viewing spots include the Sadowski Causeway at MM 53.5 and the dock area behind city hall and the post office. For more information, visit www.kcbca.org/kcbca-events/holiday-lighted-boat-parade/.
Saturday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade (Lower Keys)
All boats are welcome to participate in this favorite Lower Keys holiday event. Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. Best viewing spots include Kiki’s Sandbar at 183 Barry Ave. on Little Torch Key. For more information, call Steve Estes at 305-923-5370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Keys events calendar: www.fla-keys.com/calendarofevents/
Florida Keys visitor information: www.fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS (1-800-352-5397)
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Contact: Andy Newman/Carol Shaughnessy
1-800-ASK-KEYS 800-275-5397 or 305-461-3300