One of my favorite holiday things to do is to watch the lighted boat parades. When I lived in Annapolis, Maryland we usually needed to bundle up in heavy coats, scarves, gloves & hats and we NEEDED hot chocolate or hot toddies to keep our insides warm. We would also grill a favorite Chesapeake Bay treat- oysters on the half shell. It would take hours for us to thaw out afterwards but, oh, it was so worth it. I have to admit, however, that it didn’t take me long to adapt to the warmer viewing weather here in St Petersburg, Florida. It is very nice to be able to wear my holiday flip-flops while watching the boats parade by. The light displays can be a bit different here-Santa in hammock under 2 palm trees, flamingoes pulling Santa’s sleigh, palm trees instead of the traditional pine trees and Santa in a Hawaiian shirt & sunglasses. You get the idea. There are still some of the traditional light displays like angels blowing trumpets, three wise men and Rudolph. I absolutely love how creative and beautiful the boats look.

Here are some of the boat parades being held here in the St Petersburg, Florida area this December. Please check each the website for each community for the parade routes & any changes.

And don’t forget the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show is this weekend.  The 38th Annual St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, the largest boat show on the Gulf Coast, is set to sail into the Duke Energy Center for the Arts Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, Fla., from Thursday, Dec. 3 through Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. The show will feature an impressive selection of power boats and sailboats in water and on land, including a 40,000-square-foot clearspan tent housing all types of marine gear. www.showmanagement.com  St Pete Rotator 2014

St. Pete Beach Boat Parade is on Friday, December 4, 2015 at 6:00pm. The boat parade starts at 6 p.m. at the Blind Pass Bridge and heads south to the Bayway Bridge.

Dunedin Holiday Boat Parade and Tree Lighting-Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 6:00pm. Decorated boats will travel south down the Intracoastal Waterway to the Dunedin Marina. Santa arrives on the last boat to light the city’s large Christmas tree in Edgewater Park.

Gulfport Lighted Christmas Boat Parade-Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 6:00pm. Members of the Boca Ciega Yacht Club decorate their sail and power boats for this 30th annual holiday water parade. Best viewing spots include: Osgood Point, Gulfport Municipal Marina, Williams Pier, along Gulfport Beach, Town Shores, Pelican Bay, Kipps Colony, Pasadena Yacht and Country Club and Isla del Sol.

St. Pete Illuminated Boat Parade-Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 6:00pm. Twinkling boats of all makes and sizes parade along the downtown waterfront area. Plenty of viewing spaces are available along the Vinoy Basin sea wall, at Demens Landing and on the Pier approach.

Island Estates Yacht Club Holiday Boat Parade,Clearwater-Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 6:30pm. For the 41st year, decorated boats assemble in Mandalay Channel and head to Coachman Park, under the Memorial Causeway Bridge and to the Clearwater Yacht Club’s judging stand. Prizes awarded for best decorated boats.

Madeira Beach Holiday Boat Parade-Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 6:30pm. Gates open at 4 p.m. with family-friendly activities. Bring something to sit on and enjoy live music before decorated boats leave John’s Pass at 6:30 p.m.and pass through the Intracoastal Waterway and canals before ending at the park. Fireworks light up the sky after the boat parade, about 10 p.m.

Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade-Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 6:00pm. More than 40 decorated boats participate in this annual “Las Vegas on Water” themed parade. Starts at The Club, goes through the Treasure Island Bridge into Boca Ciega Bay and follows the coast line to end at John’s Pass.

Redington Beach-Indian Shores Lighted Boat Parade-Sunday,  December 20, 2015 at 6:00pm. This year’s parade starts on the north side of the Tom Stuart Causeway and ends at the Pub restaurant for an awards ceremony and party.

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