The Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade Under A Full Moon

At about five o’clock, it begins: a sedate drift of boats scattering lights across the water in Palm Coast’s Cimarron Basin. It is the beginning of the Palm Coast Boat Parade. As twilight deepens the sky, more boaters begin to draw their boats into the gathering area exchanging hearty greetings as they glide past one another in polite aquatic do-si-dos.
At six o’clock, lights flashing, the sheriff’s boat sets forth and guides the Parade and its appointed lead boat out onto the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Parade, one of the community’s most highly anticipated events, is now in its 38th year. Four generations of Palm Coasters have enjoyed this unique annual celebration, now considered the largest boat parade in Central Florida.
This year, on December 18, as the world comes back together, the official Parade will back in full force. Boaters and party organizers are already mobilizing. This year the Parade hopes to attract not only the many boaters who populate Palm Coast, but also representatives from the city’s local clubs and service organizations participating with boats decorated to reflect their activities and missions.
For the third year, Flagler Broadcasting is making plans for live coverage of the event, offering holiday music with vivid color commentary and descriptions of the boats accompanied by call-outs and live interviews with participants on the water and the shore. “The Queen of Jazz,” Linda Cole, will be on the air along with Flagler Broadcasting’s David Ayers and others. Grand Marshalls in the lead boat are expected to be David Alfin, Mayor of Palm Coast, and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
Departing from the Cimmaron Basin, the Parade will pass the Tidelands, Marina Cove, the Hammock, Yacht Harbor Village, and the Palm Coast Legacy Vacation Resort. It will then proceed under the Hammock Dunes Bridge along St. Joe’s Walkway and Canopy Walk, pass by Island Estates, Waterfront Park, and Grand Haven before dispersing at the Clubhouse Waterway. The Parade will be escorted by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Tow Boat US, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Parking continues to be available near European Village for viewing along St. Joe’s Walkway, Canopy Walk, and at Waterfront Park. This year spectator parking will not be available at Waterfront Park due to an on-going city construction project to enhance water-based activities.
As always, participation in the parade is free, but registration is required, as well as attendance at a captains’ safety meeting the morning of the Parade. For registration forms contact Parade Captain Robert Ulis at 386-283-5166 or at Forms and up-to-date details about the parade are also available at the Yacht Club website at and on Facebook. The rain date is December 19.