The weather should be good. Rain will be gone but it will be cold and windy That's okay - after all it is Christmas time! Wind is never as bad in the canals either.
The parade this year will start at the Dolphin/Tarpon canal and proceed through all canals ending on the Blue Heron/Sailfish canal for a total of ten canals cruised. The parade alternates its starting location between these two points every year. All boat participants gather in Highland Bayou/Jones Bay on our side of the railroad bridge at 5:30 for a 6:00 start. There will be an after-party at 285 Barracuda for the participants and donors. There will be music, food, and drinks. The winners will be announced at this time and trophies awarded. The drawing for all the prizes and gift baskets will be on Facebook Live between Christmas and New Yearís. We will advertise exactly when.
There will be judges on each canal who will text the coordinator with their choices for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and Tiny Tim. A weighted system is used to determine who the overall winners are. It is hoped that the winners finish cruising all canals, but that doesnít always happen due to boat/generator breakdowns, weather, etc. If a boat accrues enough points to win or place, even if they didnít manage to cruise all the canals, it will still be the winner. If anyone has a drone that can film the parade, that would be awesome! Please share parts of it on Facebook!
Most people are very happy to have a boat parade cruise by their homes and often plan parties, etc. to celebrate the season. The children are excited and look forward to it. Please keep in mind that the boaters who participate in the fair are volunteers, donating their time, effort, and money to bring this parade to you. Not all boats will make it past all houses. People have to stop for various reasons, may not make it to every canal or even to the end of every canal. Boaters run out of candy to throw to the kids. If you want to see the parade at its best, when everyone is most likely to still be in it, please arrange to view it from the starting canal, one of the earlier canals, or along the lateral canal early in the night. It takes 20 to 30 minutes to transit each canal and many people are uncomfortable trying to turn their boats around at the Neptune end of the canals and will turn earlier. The boats will travel a little faster down the canals than normal in order to get all the canals in. One night wonít kill your bulkhead. Do pull in your green lights to minimize the chance of them being broken.
If you have kids, and you want the boats to throw them candies and beads, then please have your lights on and light or remove anything that is sticking out from your dock. If you donít want candy thrown at your dock then leave the lights off and please donít scream at us if we do throw you candy.
Donít forget to take care of the boat captains and crews bringing you all this great entertainment! They welcome a jello shot or two, and, if itís one of those cold and windy nights, a hot toddy!
See you all on the parade route!