Destin boat parade still afloat for Christmas 2020

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

With less than 50 days until Christmas, plans are being made for the Holiday on the Harbor Boat Parade scheduled for Dec. 13.

It will be the 34th annual lighted boat parade on Destin harbor.

COVID-19 pandemic or not, "it's a go," said Kathy Marler Blue, executive director of the Destin History and Fishing Museum who heads up the event.

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"This is such a unique, historical Christmas event for the community," she said.

Boats travel around East Pass during last year's parade.

"After the year that 2020 has dealt everyone, it is fitting for us to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas in our community and an end to 2020," she added.

The event is outdoors, and participating boats will be in control of who is aboard.

"Most people will be watching from outside," said Blue, who noted that it should not be a problem to social distance.

Boaters display Santa costumes during last year's parade.

Festivities will be held that afternoon all along the harbor, with the lighted boat parade rolling at 6 p.m. Judging will take place at Margaritaville, but the parade will be visible up and down the harbor from Grand Harbor Condominiums to HarborWalk Village.

Fireworks light up East Pass during last year's boat parade.

The boat parade will be followed by a fireworks show over the harbor.

Boats of all sizes and types can take part in the parade. The entry fee is $25 per boat. Last year, 26 boats participated.

There will be 10 categories for boats to enter, from big boats to small ones, commercial boats to tour boats and even sailboats.

Prizes will be awarded in each category, with an additional "Best Overall" award. There also will be a "City of Destin Award" for the boat that best represents the historic harbor.

For more information or to enter a boat, call the Destin History and Fishing Museum at 837-6611 or email