It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It may be getting colder up north, but lighted boat parades in Maryland and Washington, D.C. are worth braving the temperatures for. From the twinkling lights on the water to the warm festivities on land, lighted boat parades are truly the best of both worlds.
Check out the Snag-A-Slip team’s rundown of lighted boat parades here in the Chesapeake below & for our friends in Florida, check out Marinalife’s list of Florida’s top lighted boat parades at the bottom of this article!
Colonial Beach Lighted Boat Parade: This year Colonial Beach Yacht Club will host their 22nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 7th! The parade will begin around 4:45pm, and this fun event will feature boats of all sizes decked out in colorful Christmas lights. There will be hot soup and various drinks at the Yacht Club Tiki Bar for guests to enjoy while awaiting the award ceremony for the top 3 lighted boats. Colonial Beach Yacht Club is partnering with Lighted Jeep Parade and collecting new and unwrapped gifts for Toys-for-Tots. They encourage spectators of the parade to bring a gift so that no child will be left behind this Christmas!
Dock at Colonial Beach Yacht Center to enjoy all the fun and festivities. With a wide variety of amenities that aren’t winterized yet, and brunch at the Tiki Bar on the weekends, you’ll surely get into the Christmas Spirit!
Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade: The capital of Maryland is one of the best places to visit for a fun winter Holiday experience. There are multiple events happening through the month of December, so check them out here! Though we’re most excited for the 37th Annual Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade. The parade may be hosted by Eastport, but visitors to the city can visit anywhere from Spa Creek to City Dock and even the Naval Academy grounds to see the lighted boats make there way around this seaport city. The Eastport parade will be held Saturday December 14th from 6:00-8:00pm.
Severn Inn will also be hosting their Annual dinner and dessert aboard the Catherine Marie to watch the Eastport parade from the water! Get more information here.
There are plenty of places to stay in Annapolis so you won’t even need to leave the docks to see the parades. Stay at Eastport Yacht Center or search any of our great marina partners in Annapolis here!
The District Holiday Boat Parade: The District Wharf is definitely one of our new favorite places to visit for events throughout the year. The winter holiday season will greet visitors with extravagant decor and fun seasonal activities for the entire family to enjoy! On December 7th, District Wharf will be hosting a Holiday Boat Parade on December 7th from 6-9pm, where visitors can watch the lighted boats pass by on the Anacostia River. Starting at 6pm, you can decorate ornaments, make a s’more at Camp Wharf, ice skate at the Waterfront Beer and Wine Garden, and even meet Santa for pictures! The parade begins at 7pm ending with an 8pm firework show and live music. Dock at The Wharf Marina or The Yards Marina for prime viewing locations of the parade!
National Harbor Marina is a short water taxi away and also features great winter events for everyone to enjoy. We absolutely recommend you head over to ride the National Wheel, check out the decorations and trees, and head into the Gaylord National Resort for their Christmas lights show. You can also check out ICE! at right outside the Gaylord. This year features ice sculptures depicting How the Grinch Stole Christmas, where kids can tube down slides throughout! Get more information on ICE! here.
Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats: The Inner Harbor in Baltimore is always a hub of winter activities. On December 7th from 6-8pm, 50+ lighted vessels will parade the Inner Harbor and Fells Point area for the 32nd Annual Baltimore Parade of Lighted Boats. The boats will depart from Anchorage Marina, with carols from local choirs around their beautiful decorations and festivities. The event will benefit the Marine’s Toys for Tots Christmas campaign, and truly be an event for the community. Dock at any of our great Baltimore marina partners in the Inner Harbor and have great viewing of the light parade. Check them out here!