Boats Will Light Up The Night For Annual Lighted Parade

The Apollo Beach Annual Boat Parade is much-anticipated by residents, snowbirds and visitors alike every year. The free event brings the community together on the banks of the waterways to watch dozens of colorful and musical boats show off their holiday décor and compete for prizes in a variety of categories.

“We moved from Apollo Beach a few years ago,” said Mimi Emerson, now a Sarasota resident. “We love the boat parade and try to come back every year to see it and kick off our holiday season.”

Apollo Beach resident Jo Alencikas has regularly attended the Apollo Beach Boat Parade for several years, celebrating with friends at their waterfront homes and on their docks. “I love snuggling with a special someone in the chilly air as the parade goes by and sharing it with friends who clap and hoot along with you,” she said. “I also love the homemade dishes and goodies that are part of the tradition of sharing the parade at someone’s home.”

She added, “And, of course, it is fun to see the creativity of boaters and their tributes to holiday spirit.”

Mark the calendar for Saturday, December 10, gather friends and family and be ready at 6 p.m. for the 2011 Apollo Beach Annual Boat Parade kick-off beginning at the south channel and proceeding toward Land’s End Marina.

All boaters from the surrounding communities are encouraged to participate, from power boats to sail boats, no matter the size. There is no entry fee and multiple awards are presented in all classes of entry.

There is a required Captain’s Meeting on Saturday, December 10, at 9 a.m. at the Tampa Sailing squadron on Apollo Beach Blvd. The Captain of each boat, who plans to be in the parade, must attend this mandatory meeting. All boats will be registered at this meeting and boat numbers for judging will be assigned.

Contact South Shore Chamber of Commerce for more information at 645-3808 or 645-1366. Visit www.ruskinchamber.com.