Ft. Lauderdale's Winterfest Boat Parade 2015 – A Reader's Digest 100 Best Event

Ft. Lauderdale's Winterfest Boat Parade 2015 – A Reader's Digest 100 Best Event

Nov 19, 2015 November 19, 2015

We loved the hot Miami International Boat Show back in February. And now it’s time to cool off with a shimmering Winterfest Boat Parade on Saturday, December 12. Charting a 12-mile route along New River, the parade begins 6:30 p.m. travelling east to the Intracoastal Waterway and north to Lake Santa Barbara. To score the best seats, we recommend booking yourself a spot at the Grandstand Viewing Area in Birch State Park or settling atop one of the bridges.

But, what is the Winterfest Boat Parade? It’s the most blinged out show featuring anything that floats on water. You'll see sailboats, yachts, gondolas, kayaks, barges and more dress up in their best parade gear for the holiday season. Vessels decked out in thousands of lights, beautiful artwork and a merry spirit will showcase the year's “Fairy Tales Afloat” theme. You can expect a very magical showcase on the Intracoastal.

Need a reason why you can’t miss this spectacle? It's one of the top 10 largest one-day spectator events in the country, top 20th Parade in the world according to the International Festival and Events Association and it was featured in Readers Digest’s 100 Best in America. You could miss it, but it's something not everyone gets to see and just by living in Miami, you get exclusive access to the greatest show on H2O. This year’s Grand Marshal is none other than Nick Cannon, a pretty great follow-up to last year’s Flo Rida.

The panel of judges who will select this year's stand out floats includes:

·         Rear Admiral Scott Buschman of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector 7

·         President of Marine Industries Association of South Florida Danielle Butler

·         President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors John Castelli

·         iHeartMedia On-Air Personality Nathalie Rodriguez

·         Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Jack Seiler and Efrem “Skip” Zimbalist III

But that doesn’t mean your opinion won't matter. In fact, your vote counts the most for the “People’s Choice Award” plus, you might win tickets from Spirit Airlines. And don't forget to track Santa on the night of the parade with a special app. There’s plenty of eats at the Grandstand and along the route. Chow down at Briny Riverfront Irish Bar & Restaurant, Bokampers Sports Bar and Grill, Flip Flops Dockside Eatery, Grateful Palate or Kaluz. It's a total family affair. And with just $35, your boat can be part of the parade too!

Photo credit: browardpalmbeach.com

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