The twinkling tradition attracts South Florida boating enthusiasts who have bought deep-water-dock homes through Waterfront Properties and Club Communities.
Organized, produced and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade will travel from the North Palm Beach Country Club northward to Jupiter, led by a festive, fireworks-shooting escort boat.
Each of the 50-plus vessels participating in the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade will feature lights, music, costumed crew members and other Florida-style holiday surprises. The event attracts tens of thousands of excited spectators who view the floating processional from parks, golf courses and bridges. Owners of Prosperity Harbor homes can watch the parade up-close from their back yards.
A flotilla of collection boats, called the “toy fleet,” will skirt the parade route and make on-the-spot pickups. As soon as a donor sees one of the boats, each of which will bear a flashing amber beacon, he or she should wave a flashlight, and a uniformed marine on the vessel will accept the toy.
From start to finish, the parade will sail under five bridges, all of which will be open between 45 minutes and one hour for safety reasons. Motorists have been informed about the bridge openings in the two weeks leading up to the event.
The bridges include the Parker Bridge in North Palm Beach and the PGA Bridge in Palm Beach Gardens on the first half of the route. Boats will then cruise past several Intracoastal Waterway homes for sale along a long, narrow stretch that will offer optimum viewing for the public. One of the communities with best view of the southern half of the parade is Juno Isles in Juno Beach.
The next bridge is at Donald Ross Road. Then, the parade approaches Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter before it gets to second-to-last bridge at Indiantown Road.
Sometime between 8:15 and 8:30 p.m., the final bridge, Jupiter Federal, will open, and the parade will terminate near the Jupiter Lighthouse.