34th Annual Venice Christmas Boat Parade

Featuredsat03dec6:00 pmsat8:00 pm34th Annual Venice Christmas Boat ParadeIntracoastal Waterway6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AreaVeniceCost$5 TypeParade

Event Details

Join us for the Venice Christmas Boat Parade! Boats set sail at 6 pm, starting just north of Albee Rd Bridge and traveling south, ending just before the Circus Bridge in Venice. Please do not put chairs out along the route prior to 5 AM the day of the event! Visit venicechristmasboatparade.com for our Route Map & More!! Also, our Facebook page will have updates and information as well! Want to join in sign up now!!

Over the years we have had many of the same questions asked regarding the parade.
The parade this year is Saturday 12/3/2022 with the rain date scheduled for 12/4. We will not know until 1-2 hrs before the scheduled start of the parade is postponed and if so will post on our Facebook site on 12/3.

The starting horn is 6 pm. This means that all of the participants who have been lining up north of the Albee Bridge road will start their engines and lights. Albee Bridge road is the bridge connecting the mainland to Nokomis beach/North Jetty.

Viewing in this area is on the island side at the public boat ramp, across from the Nokomis beach parking lot, or further down at the North jetty. On the mainland side, you have the restaurants Pelican Alley or Pop’s. You need to individually contact them for availability. Gulf Harbor Marina is here also and again you need to contact them if public viewing will be allowed as this is a private marina. At the South Jetty, there is public viewing at the jetty and the Crow’s Nest restaurant is here also, contact them.

Regarding the jetty channel. If we go into the channel we turn at the first marker in the channel near Jetty Jack’s (the snack shop), we do not go down to the end.

The parade going into the channel is determined that day by the weather and water conditions. If conditions are hazardous (windy, rough waters), we WILL NOT venture into the channel at all for the safety of the boaters, so this will impact you if sitting here.
Further down on the mainland before the N Tamiami bridge is the restaurant Dockside Waterfront Grill, contact them for viewing availability.

The following public viewing area is at the Train Depot on the mainland before the E Venice Ave bridge. This area (besides the restaurants) appears the best for those with a handicap as the parking lot is paved and the seating area is pretty close.
From this point down to the Circus bridge, on both sides, are the bike trails. Most viewers are seated here as backlight glare from streetlights is minimal.
The last viewing area is before the Circus bridge. We DO NOT go under the bridge but turn right before it. Here on the island, you have Marine Max and the Old Salty Dog restaurant. You will need to contact them regarding viewing availability. On the mainland is still the bike trail.
People ask where we park, some suggestions: public boat launch area, Nokomis beach, the jetties, south of the Depot on the mainland, the HS parking lot, by the airfield, and the shopping center by the Circus bridge.
Remember wherever you park be respectful of private property. Give yourself time as you will probably need to walk a little bit to find a good spot, set up, and relax before the show.
Go to our website and print a copy of the map/route we follow and a few days ahead of time drive around and look at where you want to be. Traffic will be hectic that night so not a good time to figure out where you want to go.
People ask, how long before the parade gets to the Circus bridge? Hard to give a specific time but estimate 1-2 hrs. after the 6 pm start. Consider the following; it is a parade, we are traveling about 5 mph, wind and water conditions impact how fast we travel, stuff happens in the parade line and we are traveling 6 miles at night, in the dark. With 49 participants last year, it does take a little while for all the boats to get past you (and the winner last year was last in line!!)
People have asked about setting up their chairs days ahead. Last year the city of Venice said NO GO, not until the morning of or they would remove it. So keep this in mind if you want to keep your chairs and just wait until the day of.
If you want to travel to the parade but don’t have a boat there are a few charter companies that participate in the parade. To name a few, there may be more; Aquaholics, Shellebrate, Low Tide Tours, Off the Grid, Black Duck, Suncoast Adventure Tours, Tiki Boats & Floats, Pirate Charters, and Tiki Taxi. Again, you would need to contact the individual charters to see if they will be participating in the parade this year.
Lastly, people have asked if can they make a seating reservation or where do they buy a ticket. This is a FREE EVENT presented by the Venice Christmas Boat Parade, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Most people do not realize that our organization must absorb costs associated with the event, i.e., permits, payment to bridge tenders, insurance, etc. while trying to raise money so the Boat Parade can make a donation to a deserving organization in our community.
We ask that if everyone viewing could donate $5.00 (the cost of a premium coffee), we can meet the above objectives and continue this yearly event. Those of you that have viewed this parade in the past realize how much the boaters enjoy decorating and presenting their boats for your pleasure and it does set the mood for the holiday season.
Visit our website www.venicechristmasboatparade.com to read the details of our organization, see who were past sponsors, what organizations have benefitted from our donation, and the address to mail your donation to. Also, anyone can sign up here to be a sponsor. (All tax-deductible)
Participant applications can be downloaded from the website (if you have a boat join us as all are invited), and further information about being in the parade and the captain’s meeting is available here.
On this site also take a moment to view the pictures of the boats participating last year, they are getting better and better.



(Saturday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Intracoastal Waterway


Venice Christmas Boat Parade

The Venice Christmas Boat Parade is a 501(c)(3) corporation, that puts on a free Lighted Boat Parade the first Saturday in December of each year
(941) 718-8644

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March 2023

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