Where Santa's choice of transportation floats instead of flies!

By Nellah Bailey McGough
November 14, 2019

Ring in the holidays this year with your mates at a Christmas boat parade. Dozens of boats of all sizes will be floating down rivers and coastal waterways decorated with thousands of brightly colored lights this season. Most events are free and make for a fun family outing which is sure to become a yearly tradition. We've gathered some popular parades from Texas, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida but look for one setting sail on a river, waterway, or ocean near you this Christmas season!

Credit: Tony Sulser, Palm Coast, FL Boat Parade

Central Florida's Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade

Palm Coast, FL
When: Dec. 7th, starting at 6pm
Celebrating its 37th year, over 47 decorated boats are expected to participate. The parade begins at 6pm from the Cimmaron Basin on the Intracoastal Waterway. For more information go to palmcoastyachtclub.com

Credit: Courtesy of Lori Vetter Photography, Palm Coast, FL Boat Parade

Christmas on the River

Demopolis, AL
When: Dec. 7th, starting at 6pm
People from all over West Alabama and neighboring States have been enjoying this Christmas event since 1972. The festivities begin on Wednesday, Dec. 4th, culminating with the nautical parade and fireworks on Saturday, Dec. 7th at 6 pm. For more information go to visitdemopolisarea.com

Credit: Courtesy of The San Antonio River Walk

Holiday Lights on The River Walk

San Antonio, TX
Beginning Nov. 29th and running through Jan. 13th, starting at 5:30pm
Beginning with the 2019 Ford Holiday Boat Parade on Nov. 29 and continuing through Jan. 13, 2020. Over 100,000 lights will illuminate San Antonio's famous River Walk from 5:30 pm – 6:30 am every day during the holiday season. Choose from 3 different boat excursions on the river or just stroll along the walkway enjoying the lights. For more information go to thesanantonioriverwalk.com

Choose from several North Carolina Flotillas across the state:

The Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla

Morhead City and Beaufort, NC
Dec. 7th, starting at 5:30pm
Festively decorated watercraft of all sizes can been seen at 5:30 pm on the Morehead City, NC waterfront and on the Beaufort, NC waterfront at 6:15 pm.For more information go to crystalcoastnc.org

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla

Wrightsville Beach, NC
When: Nov. 30th, starting at 6pm
For 36 years, people have been kicking off the holiday season by watching beautifully decked out boats for a coastal Christmas parade.For more information go to ncholidayflotilla.org

The Swansboro Christmas Flotilla

Swansboro, NC
When: Nov. 29th
Jump start your Christmas season in this charming waterfront town founded in 1783. Colorfully lit boats will float down the White Oak River beginning at dusk. For more information go to emeraldislerealty.com

Charleston Holiday Boat Parade

Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC
When: Dec. 14th, starting at 5pm
Join in the fun with your own decorated boat or view the parade along Charleston's waterfront. The procession begins on the shores of Mount Pleasant at 5 pm with viewing from the downtown peninsula around 7:30 pm. For great views, head over to The Battery, Waterfront Park or Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park Pier. Don't miss the fireworks display over the harbor! For more information go to visit-historic-charleston.com

Savannah Boat Parade of Lights

Savannah, GA
When: Nov. 30th, starting at 5pm
Over 40 vessels will sail along both sides of the waterfront. $10 admission per adult is accepted for the Savannah Harbor Foundation. The 19th Annual Christmas parade kicks off at 5 pm with holiday food and beverages, a choir performance, bag pipes, tree lighting, and at 7 pm, the cannon fires signaling the beginning of the boat parade and culminates with a spectacular fireworks display. For more information go to savannahharborfoundation.com