Holiday boat parades to light up the Intracoastal

In December, South Florida can count on a bevy of holiday-decorated boat parades to add a little sparkle on the Intracoastal.

Among them: the 61st Annual CHAOS Pompano Beach/Lighthouse Point/Deerfield Beach Holiday Boat Parade, which will live stream on YouTube for the first time.

“Everybody in the country could see our parade if they want,” said aid Connie Davis, programs director for the City of Pompano Beach. “All of our condo dwellers and residents can watch the parade streaming live on YouTube.

“In the past, if they couldn’t get to the parade, they couldn’t see the parade.”

About 60 boats are expected to take part in the event, whose theme this year is “A Salute to our First Responders.” Registration is free.

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue and Ely Fire Cadets will act as grand marshals. Marine artist and ocean conservationist Dennis Friel will serve as emcee.

In mid November, only18 boats were registered in the Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade.

The number of participants has decreased over the last few years, according to Anne Marie Connolly, spokesperson for the City of Boca Raton.

“Last year, we even added a Captains Banquet Dinner as an extra component and didn’t get much buy in,” she said.

This year the 52nd Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade kicks off with the theme, “Reflections Afloat” to mark 20 years of partnership between Seminole Hard Rock and Winterfest.

The Miami Outboard Club’s Holiday Boat Parade and Toy Drive has been going on for 25 years. About 75 boats are expected to take part this year.

Donated toys benefit children in need at Centro Hispano Catolico and Centro Mater.

“It’s a great event. It’s a family oriented event and we try to have everybody come out and enjoy it and watch the parade,” said Anthony Hernandez, committee chair for the club.

A sampling of local boat parades:

Boynton Beach Holiday Boat Parade (in partnership with the Town of Hypoluxo, Town of Lantana, and City of Delray Beach).
When: Friday, Dec 8, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Starts at the Lantana Bridge and then heads south to the C-15 Canal.
The Holiday Boat Parade will feature decorated boats
and live music at the Boynton Harbor Marina. Details: Entry is free for boaters who are required to donate a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.
More Information: Boynton Beach: 561-600-9097;

61st Annual CHAOS Pompano Beach/Lighthouse Point/Deerfield Beach Holiday Boat Parade
When: Friday, Dec 15, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Starts at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano
Beach, traveling north to the Hillsboro Bridge to
Sullivan Park.
More Information: 954-383-2285;

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Starts on the New River in downtown
Fort Lauderdale and travels east along the New River to the Intracoastal and north to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.
Details: Private boats can register for $35. More Information: 954-767-0686;

Boca Raton Holiday Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Starts on the Intracoastal Waterway from the C-15 Canal travelling south to the Hillsboro Boulevard Bridge.
Details: This year there is no fee to enter the event.
There will be awards for $1,000 for best decorated
boats in three classes.
More Information: 561-393-7700;

Miami Outboard Club Holiday Boat Parade
When: Saturday, Dec. 16, 7- 9 p.m.
Where: Starts at Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd.,
More information: 305-379-3000;