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Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade to bring shine to beach once again

By Staff | Nov 20, 2019

The Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the most treasured events put on by the Chamber of Commerce.

On Dec. 7, the Chamber will put on its nationally recognized holiday boat parade with World War II veteran John Murphy serving as grand marshal. The Chamber reached out to Murphy, father of Vice Mayor Ray Murphy, since Dec. 7 is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

“It’s super important to recognize the folks who have served. We will be able to have a member of the greatest generation on board,” said Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce President Jacki Liszak. “It’s really one of our favorite events of the year. It kicks off our holiday season.”

Liszak is expecting approximately 30 boats fitted with bright lights will hit the water beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Salty Sam’s Marina. At 6 p.m., the boats will leave Salty Sam’s Marina going past Parrot Key Caribbean Grill heading northwest passing by Bonita Bill’s Waterfront Caf and Doc Fords, then heading under the Matanzas Pass Bridge. According to the Chamber, they will travel in and out of Siesta Isles and go around Bowditch Point, turning in front of the Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina. The boats will travel past Nervous Nellies and Matanzas on the Bay on the return. The parade will end at Salty Sam’s Marina for a party and awards presentation. VIP Judges will ride along in the parade and will choose and announce the winners in each category.

The Chamber suggests the hammerheads at the end of the canals as great spots to set up a lawn chair to watch the event, along with the fountain next to Nervous Nellies.

There is still time for folks to enter their boats in the parade. All sizes and types of boats are eligible to enter. There is a $25 fee for boats and a $50 fee for business sponsored boats. Prizes will be awarded for different categories of boats. Those attending the parade will be available to vote online at www.FMBBoatParade.com. There will also be a vote for best party.

“If you have a boat, I encourage you to decorate it and join us in the parade”, said Janeen Paulauskis, event coordinator for the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and it’s the best party around town!”

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Fort Myers Beach Chamber at 239.454.7500 or visit www.FMBBoatParade.com.

The parade is getting some national recognition as it was nominated for USA Today’s list of the 10 best holiday parades. To vote for the beach parade, you can visit www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-holiday-parade-2019/