holiday parades and boat parades in Tampa Bay

15 Awesome Holiday Parades and Lighted Boat Parades in Tampa Bay

The winter parade season is kicking off in Tampa Bay with several street parades and lighted boat parades on schedule. Parades are such a fun way to celebrate the holidays with the family and the best part is, it’s free to attend! It’s also pretty cool to view holiday lights on the water!

There are sometimes big events associated with the parades like Tampa’s Santa Fest which is on Saturday, December 3 in downtown Tampa.

Get those calendars ready and let’s start planning the holiday parade season in Tampa Bay!

Holiday Parades in Tampa Bay

(Listed in order of date.)

Santa Parade and Tree Lighting at North Straub Park in St. Pete 

When: Saturday, November 25, 2023 at 4:30 pm- parade starts at 6:30 pm
Where: Albert Whitted Park to 5th Ave NE, St. Pete
The Santa Parade and Tree Lighting is the perfect way to kick-off the holidays in St. Pete. The Santa Parade begins at Albert Whitted Park and then runs along Bayshore Drive to 5th Avenue NE. The tree lighting will follow.


Old Fashioned Christmas and Holiday Parade in Dunedin

When: December 1, 2023, from 6 pm-9 pm
Where: Downtown Dunedin 
Downtown Dunedin is hosting its annual Old Fashioned Christmas and Holiday Parade which kicks off at Douglas Avenue and Beltrees Street and will continue north to Skinner Blvd/580. The free festivities will include snow, horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa, caroling, and more!


Annual Tarpon Springs Holiday Boat Parade

When: December 1, 2023, 8 pm-10 pm
Where: Craig Park, Tarpon Springs, FL
Vessels will begin at the sponge docks and conclude at Spring Bayou. Public viewing areas include Sponge Docks, Whitcomb Bayou, Craig Park & Spring Bayou.


Holiday Parade at Safety Harbor

When: December 2,  2023, from 10:00 am-11:30 am
Where: Main Street of Safety Harbor
Cost: Free to attend
Floats, old fashion cars, Shriners, and Santa are just a few of the highlights.


City of Tampa Santa Fest Parade and Festivities

When: December 2, 2023 at 1 pm
Where: Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Cost: FREE to attend | Parking may cost you 
The parade steps off at 1:00 p.m. at Morgan Street and Madison Street and then travels west on Madison Street to Ashley Drive before turning north and ending at Ashley Drive and Cass Street. The best viewing is along Madison Street. After the parade, head to Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park for Santa Fest entertainment and activities from 1 pm-4 pm which will be followed by the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 pm with Mayor Castor and Santa Claus.


Lakeland’s 42nd Annual Christmas Parade

When: December 2, 2023 at
Where: Downtown Lakeland
Join Santa and Mrs. Claus along with your neighbors and celebrate this beloved annual tradition in Lakeland! Here’s the Christmas Parade route according to the City of Lakeland: The Christmas Parade will kick off at the RP Funding Center, winding its way through Downtown Lakeland, around Lake Mirror, and down Lemon Street.


Downtown St. Pete Lighted Boat Parade

When: December 9, 2023, at 6:15 pm
Where: Downtown St Pete and St. Pete Pier
Head to the St. Pete Pier for the holiday lighted boat parade and other activities.


Palm Harbor Annual Holiday Parade

When: December 9, 2023, from 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Where: The parade starts at Delaware and 12th Street
This FREE family fun tradition starts at Delaware & 12th Street and ends at 11th and Michigan Ave. If you want to continue the festivities where will be a Gift Market in the Harbor Hall parking lot.


57th Annual Festival of Lights Boat Parade in Madiera Beach

December 9, 2023, from 6:30 pm-10 pm
Where: Best public viewing at ROC Park – Madiera Beach
This annual boat parade kicks off at ROC Park and ends at John’s Pass Village.


Davenport Holiday Parade and Winterfest

When: December 9, 2023 from 4 pm-9 pm | Parade starts at 6 pm
Where: The Parade starts at Lewis Mathews Complex and will end at Tom Fellows Community Center located at 207 North Blvd W in Davenport
Celebrate the season with a free holiday parade and community event, Winterfest which follows the parade! There will also be fireworks, a snow slide, and of course…Santa!


38th Annual Lighted Christmas Boat Parade in Gulfport

When: December 9, 2023, 6 pm
Where: Begins at Gulfport Municipal Marina
See the parade from Osgood Point, Gulfport Municipal Marina, Williams Pier, Gulfport Beach and Casino, Town Shores, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, Pasadena Golf Club Estates and Isla del Sol. Routes are subject to change.


Making Spirits Bright Parade in Clearwater

When: December 12, 2023, from 4 pm-6 pm
Where: The parade starts at 20 Island Way, Clearwater
Clearwater’s annual holiday parade is back as part of the 12 Days of Christmas celebration. The parade steps off at Island Way Grill and will head from North Beach to South Beach, over the bridge to then Historical Society, and back toward Island Way.


38th Annual Treasure Island Holiday Lighted Boat Parade and Celebration

When: December 22, 2023 at 6:00 pm (Originally scheduled for December 16)
Where: Treasure Bay Recreation Facility
The Holiday Celebration begins at 5 p.m. with the Boat Parade leaving at 6:20 p.m.
Watch the parade from a spectacular vantage point and participate in the events at Treasure Bay. A DJ, a visit by Santa and Mrs. Claus, interactive entertainers, and food/beverage concessions will be available.


Indian Rocks Beach Holiday Boat Parade

When: December 16, 2023, 7 pm Cancelled due to inclement weather
Where: Parade lineup at Holiday Inn Harbor Side
Parade will begin at the Walsingham Bridge, winding through the fingers and ending at Harbor Drive North.


Tampa Riverwalk Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

When: December 23, 2023
Where: Tampa Riverwalk
Cost: FREE to attend | Parking may cost you 
The parade begins in the Convention Center basin, travels to the Heights, and ends at Sparkman Wharf.


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