Monday, January 17

A Blowout Winterfest Parade in Fort Lauderdale

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Everybody loves a parade, and it seems that boating people particularly love a boating parade. There are boat parades across the U.S. this holiday season, where owners deck out their vessels with lights, Santas, reindeer and lot of other things to get in the holiday spirit.

It’s not surprising that holiday parades are big in Florida; indeed, boat parades started there in the 1920s when owners decorated their boats with candles and cruised the waterways singing Christmas carols.

Things have changed a bit since then; the candlepower, and horsepower, have grown. The wattage was most on display last Saturday night at the blowout Winterfest boat parade in Fort Lauderdale, officially known as the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, “The Best Show on H2O.”

The parade went on for 12 miles, starting on the New River downtown, heading east to the Intracoastal, and then north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. The organizers say that more than one million people watched the parade; there were so many boats that it took them more than two and a half hours to pass any one spot.

A 150-foot Coast Guard cutter, all decked out with holiday decorations, started the parade, and after that came big boats, little boats, all kinds of boats, all celebrating the holidays. And there were holiday parties, on shore and on the water, as everyone took a chance to celebrate.

This was the 50th annual Winterfest. It was cancelled last year because of Covid-19. And it was a Winterfest to remember. See the official video below:



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