Holiday Boat Parade sails into Cape Coral this weekend
Santa Claus will make his way to Cape Coral this weekend on board a 30 foot Donzi decked out in Bermuda shorts and sandals.
Santa Claus won’t be the only one enjoying a Cape Coral Christmas as the annual Cape Coral Holiday oat-A-Long takes place this weekend in the South Cape.
For over 35 years, over a hundred boats of all shapes and sizes take part in the annual Christmas boat parade. While there are over a hundred boats, it is the thousands that come out to watch the parade that make the Boat-A-Long a "must attend" event each year, “The Boat-A-Long always brings a warm, holiday spirit to those who attend. It is great to see so many people just come out and enjoy being together for the holiday season,” says City of Cape Coral’s Special Event Coordinator Todd King.
The parade has expanded to become a full fledged family holiday event full of food, fun, and entertainment since its humble beginnings of neighbors getting together on the bimini in 1976.. This year scheduled to perform during the event will be both the Oasis Elementary and Gulf Elementary Schools children’s choirs, the Oasis High School Chorale Ensemble and the Calendar Girls.
Due to the recent cancellation of the annual Santa Land event, the city has added activities to this year’s Boat-A-Long. Added to the event is an Elf’s Craft Shop for children. Also, not only will Santa Claus be there to hear all of the children’s Christmas wishes, there will also be an opportunity for parents to have their child’s picture taken with Santa for free.
With all the added activity, organizers are hoping for a record turnout in both boats and crowd, “We are looking forward to the biggest year we have ever had,” says King. “We already have 10 more boats registered than we did last year at this time.”
Last year over a hundred boats participated in the event. King says this year he expects the number to be around 150.
For those people wanting to keep the party going after the parade, there will be a 30 minute movie shown on the giant inflatable screen after the boats exit the basin.
The event officially kicks off at 4:00pm this Sunday at Four Freedoms Park located at 4818 Tarpon Court. The live entertainment will take place from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. The parade will begin just after sunset around 7:00pm.
The Boat-A-Long is free to the public and there will be parking available at all city parking lots and areas around Four Freedoms Park.