Who says a parade has to be held on land? Every holiday season, communities throughout Pinellas County take advantage of their beachside settings and hold holiday boat parades. Sailboats and motorboats decorated with lights, trees, Santas, reindeer, candy canes, and anything else the owners can think of line up and cruise the waterfronts for the onlooking crowds.

If you'd like to see one of these uniquely Florida traditions, here are some of the best-known holiday boat parades in Pinellas County.

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Holiday Boat Parades In Pinellas County

Holiday Lighted Boat Parade at Pass-A-Grille Beach

This year's Pass-a-Grille parade takes place Saturday, December 10th, from 7 pm to 8 p.m. The parade starts and ends at Merry Pier, looping around Pass-a-Grille Channel. There will be a visit from Santa to make your holiday month merrier. Come see the decorated boats and enjoy the parade with your loved ones. 

St. Pete Beach 2022 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

The 2012 St. Pete Beach Boat Parade will be on Friday, December 2nd, starting at 6:00 p.m. The parade begins at Blind Pass Bridge in St Pete Beach and will travel South to the Pinellas Bayway Bridge. The best spots for viewing include the St. Pete Beach Community Center and the adjacent Horan Park.

There's still time to get into this parade as well! A captain's meeting takes place Thursday, December 1st, at 6 p.m. at the St. Pete Beach Community Center. Register using this form.

56th Annual Madeira Beach Festival of Lights Boat Parade

The oldest parade on our list dates to 1967. This year's edition will be held Saturday, December 10th, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The parade route has been reversed from past years - it now begins at the American Legion Post 273, then goes around every peninsula and inlet in the town before concluding at Johns Pass Village & Boardwalk between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. The best viewing is at ROC Park or at the parade's end if you can wait it out. 

For boaters who want to sail or motor their way through the parade, here's a registration form, also available offline at Madeira Beach Municipal Marina

 37th Annual Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade

The city calls this parade one of the largest lighted boat parades in the Tampa Bay area. Join Treasure Island as they celebrate the 37th Annual Treasure Island Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. Block your 5 - 7:30 pm to be part of the holiday celebration. There will be everything happening you can imagine — a DJ, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, interactive entertainers, and food/beverage concessions with a spectacular location to view the boat parade. Once you’re done with the celebration, come to the south of the Treasure Island Bridge, as the parade will begin there promptly at 6:20 p.m. The route travels south of Paradise Island, back through the Treasure Island Causeway Bridge at 7 p.m., around the Isles of Palms and Capri, and finishes at John’s Pass at approximately 8:15 p.m. Register for the form here. 

Submit your entries at Captain’s Meeting on Thursday, December 15th, 2022, at 6:00 pm at the Treasure Bay Recreation Facility.

City of St. Pete Beach Holiday Boat Parade

Join the city for one of the most eventful boat parades in the town. Attending the St. Pete Beach Boat Parade with your dear ones is the perfect way to kickstart your Christmas celebrations. Why? Well, what’s better than an evening of live music, a special visit from Santa, and the Tree Lighting? The boat parade is on Fri, Dec 2, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Horan Park. You can buy your favorite beverages there. 

If you want to participate in the boat parade, there’s still some time left. The last entries will be accepted at the Captain's meeting on Wednesday, November 30th, 2022, at the SPB Community Center from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Show your interest here

These are the most popular Christmas parades in Pinellas County, but there are other holiday boat parades too. Wherever you decide to go, you're sure to enjoy a spectacle you just can't get anywhere near the North Pole. And be sure to check out the rest of our Christmas content on 727area. You can register and be notified about all of it!