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Registration open for this year’s Christmas Boat Parade

November 21, 2018
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

It's that time of year to decorate your boat and join others for the 30th annual Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

"It's magical. It's so much fun. You get infected with the spirit feeling, the spirit of the holidays. It kicks you into the Christmas mood. We have to make up with no snow and I think we do a bang up job on this event," Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jacki Liszak said. "The houses that decorate and the house boats are so much fun to go by. For me, it is one of my favorite things on the island."

This year the Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 1.

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The parade will begin at Salty Sam's Marina at 6 p.m. and continue on the same route as last year. That 90 minute route will pass by such establishments as Parrot Key Caribbean Grill, Matanzas on the Bay, Nervous Nellies, Doc Fords, Dixie Fish Co., Shrimp Dock and Bonita Bills.

The parade will pass through Matanzas Harbor, as well as the first two canals of Siesta Isles. The parade will eventually travel around by Pink Shell where the Pirate Ship will be waiting, Liszak said.

"It's a great way to watch it, on the pirate ship," she said.

Last year 32 boats participated in the parade, which is about average. Those who would like to participate are encouraged to register online at It is $25 for a non-sponsored boat and $50 for a sponsored boat.

"You have to attend a mandatory captains meeting," Liszak explained, which will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 29, at Hampton Inn. "You have to come to be debriefed on safety and Coast Guard requirements."

Individuals will also have an opportunity to sign up at the captain's meeting.

The parade will include voting for the best powerboat large and small, best sailboat, most spirited crew and best dressed crew. She said they are also asking houses along the parade route who are having a party to register for free, so those in the parade can vote for the best house party.

Individuals will have the opportunity to vote online, which will go live at 6 p.m. for the People's Choice Award.

In year's past the boats have gone full out with decorating their boat. Last year, Liszak said a pontoon boat had a 20 foot LED Christmas tree that matched the music for its light show.

"The graphics were amazing," she said.

This year, Liszak said she heard that two boats are working together to create reindeer and Santa's sleigh.

"It looks like they are going to have reins coming from one to the other," she said.

The Christmas Boat Parade also has restaurant sponsorships available. Liszak said the sponsorship provides logos on all of the Chamber's material, as well as the ability to have all of their patrons vote.



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