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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tis the Season for Boat Parades in the Florida Keys

As holiday parades roll down Main Street in small towns across America, the residents of theFlorida Keys are stringing garlands and lights on everything from dinghies to mega-yachts and taking their festivities to the water.

A few seasons ago, I watched the Schooner Warf Bar Lighted Boat Parade in Key West, now in its 21st year. I was impressed with the creativity of the participants and hypnotized by leaping dolphins, dancing candy canes, peace doves, toy soldiers and of course, Santa’s sleigh glittering across the water.

My favorite boat that year was “Santa’s Christmas Luau,” which had a tall Grinch blazing in green lights from the rigging. As we all danced to “Limbo Rock” blasting from their speakers, it was hard to tell who was having more fun — those of us on shore or on the boat.

Here’s the skinny on the upcoming merriment:

Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Key Largo Boat Parade on Blackwater Sound Watch for Jon Landau, producer of the films Avatar and Titanic, as the grand marshal. For waterside parties, head to Sundowner’s, Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Senor Frijoles, Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort or Caribbean Club (all around mile marker 103 and 104). 

Saturday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. Boot Key Harbor Lighted Christmas Boat Parade. Now in its 15th year, this floating fete winds through canals and harbors in Marathon. Find viewing atLazy Days South, Marathon Marina, Burdines Waterfront, Dockside Lounge, Sombrero Resort and the Boot Key Harbor Bridge. 

Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. Key West’s Schooner Warf Bar 21st Annual Lighted Boat Parade While great views can be found at any of the bars, restaurants and resorts in and around the Historic Seaport and harbor areas, the best perch is at Schooner Warf, where the boats turn around for the judging station. 
Sunday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. Key Colony Beach Lighted Boat Parade This parade kicks off from the 7th Street canal in Marathon and winds through waterways and pass city hall three times. To catch the action, stake out a spot on the Sadowski Causeway (mile marker 53.5) or the area behind city hall. 305-743-7214 Saturday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. Lower Keys Lighted Boat Parade Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to arrive and hand out candy to the kids. The best viewing is from the Pine Channel Causeway and at Parrotdise Waterfront Bar and Grille on Little Torch Key. 305-923-5370 

Originally posted on floridatravellife.com

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