Every year, the Holiday on The Harbor Lighted Boat Parade makes me think of a giant Lite Brite, as boats large and small get into the Christmas spirit and parade through Destin’s Historic Harbor. For twenty five years, Destin’s private and charter boats have been making the season bright with this unique and special holiday event.
Kathy Marler Blue, Associate Director of the Destin Fishing and History Museum, tells me there will be at least 24 boats competing in several different categories. When asked about some of her favorite entries, she mentions a Get Up Stand Up Paddle Board which had been decorated like Santa’s sleigh. Eight paddlers braved the cold, dressed as reindeer, and “pulled” the sleigh the length of the parade. During the parade, you’ll be sure to see elaborate light displays. Some lights are choreographed to Christmas music and other boats have famous passengers like Santa, the Grinch, or the Peanuts Gang. All are clearly enjoying their moment in the parade.
This year’s Holiday on the Harbor Boat Parade begins at 6:00 PM, Sunday December 4th. Admission is free, and you can view the parade from the docks and restaurants west of the Grand Harbor Condominiums. Celebrity judges will be stationed at Harry T’s in Harbor Walk Village and will be awarding six prizes, plus an overall ‘Best In Show”. The evening will conclude with a fireworks show, adding even more light over the harbor. From 12:00 -4:00 PM, Harbor Walk Village will kick off the fun with live performances from The Emerald Coast Barbershop Quartet, a dance from The Nutcracker by the Northwest Florida Ballet Conservancy , arts and crafts, opportunities to visit with Santa, and hot chocolate.
The Holiday on The Harbor Lighted Boat Parade is a unique tradition that will replace any “Bah Humbugs” with some “Ho Ho Ho’s “. If you’re on the Emerald Coast this weekend, I encourage you to grab your mittens, a mug of good cheer , and head down to the Harbor for the parade.
About Susan Jarvis Moody
Susan is a free-lance writer, currently providing social media content for the Okaloosa County (FL) Tourist Development Council. A native New Englander, Susan has been moving steadily South since college. She and her husband Shane are raising their children Alex (6) and Harper (3) in Destin FL, with a love of lobster rolls, sweet tea, and the ocean. Susan is also lucky enough to share her obsession with pop culture, and love of baked goods, and books with Shane’s daughter Jennings, (21), who spends as much time out on the water as she can. Susan writes about the activities and adventures on Florida’s Emerald Coast at and www.emerladcoastfl.com/blog