The city's holiday festivities hit the highway and harbor this weekend with the 28th Annual Destin Christmas Parade and the 27th Annual Holiday on the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade.

The celebrations begin Saturday with the Destin Christmas Parade. More than 80 civic clubs, churches, local businesses and even The Log will show off their floats for crowds of people, starting at the Downtown Destin Shopping Center and proceeding down Harbor Boulevard.

Kids and adults should bring a bag, as many participants will be tossing out candy and other goodies to the spectators.

City public information manager Doug Rainer said the parade has proceeded in light rain before, but in case of stormy weather, the parade will not be rescheduled.

"There is no rain date, so it's either all or nothing," Rainer told The Log of the Saturday forecast, which as of Tuesday afternoon was calling for an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms.

Sunday, the festivities continue on the harbor with the Lighted Boat Parade. The parade starts at 6 p.m., but organizers encourage people to arrive on the harbor early to get a good spot to view the boats.

Kathy Marler Blue is the associate director of the Destin Fishing Museum, which organizes the parade. She said the list of registered participants is still growing.

"This is usually the week that people call, wanting to be a part of it," Blue told The Log.

Commercial, charter and private boats will light up the harbor. They will compete for prizes in several categories, including private 30-feet and under, private 31-feet and over, charter/commercial 30-feet and under, charter/commercial 31-feet and over, tour boat/motorized, sailboat 30-feet and under, sailboat 31-feet and over, and best overall.

The Destin Fire Boat will lead the procession, which will begin south of the Marina Café, along Holiday Isle. Boats will continue east to the Grand Harbor Condos, where they will turn around and travel back west along the harbor shore.

After the parade, awards will be presented to the winners at Harry T's Lighthouse and a fireworks show will light up Destin harbor.

Boat captains who wish to participate in the parade can contact the Destin Fishing Museum at 837-6611. Entry fee is $25 per boat. In case of bad weather, the boat parade will be rescheduled for Dec. 22.



28th Annual Destin Christmas Parade

When: Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10 a.m.

Where: Harbor Boulvard, from Main Street to Stahlman Avenue

Who: 85 civic, religious, political, commercial and children's services organizations


27th Annual Holiday on the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade and fireworks

When: Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

Where: In the Destin Harbor, between Grand Harbor Condos and Harry T's Lighthouse

Who: commercial, charter and private boats from around the Emerald Coast