The Alafia Lighted Boat Parade has been delighting people with Christmas-themed boats for 35 years, and the tradition will continue on Saturday, December 1 from 5-8 p.m. at the Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr.

Everyone is invited to attend the 35th annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade on Saturday, December 1. Hosted by the Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview since 2008, the event is set to delight all with its vibrantly decorated boats. Join in on all the fun from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Riverview Civic Center, 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview. The boat parade will begin at 6 p.m.

All boats may join the festivity, but only pre-registered boats have a chance to win prizes. Parade attendees must set up their boats at Williams Park Boat Ramp and avoid the Riverview Civic Center ramp after 3 p.m. The awards presentation for the best decorated boats will be held at River’s Edge Bar and Grill.

However, more than eyes will be set with wonder at the parade. People can enjoy the Chili Cook-Off as either cooks or tasters voting for the best chili. Tasters must purchase $5 tickets to take part, and contestants should enter their chili by 4:30 p.m. Only the first 12 entries will qualify, so enter quickly. Parade-goers can purchase tickets for refreshments as well.

Children may visit Santa Claus for a free photo opportunity. A gingerbread house contest and a silent auction will support Rotary’s fight against ending Polio and other local service projects. A free family holiday movie presented by Friends of the County Parks will be avail-able after the second pass of the boats at the Riverview Civic Center. The boat parade does more than provide fun, however.

“We generate from the boat parade much needed monies for our local high school scholarship pro-gram, approx. $3500, to Riverview, Spoto, and Newsome, as well as for the Friends of the County Parks charity,” said Dr. Kimberly Tyson, who has been involved with the parade since Rotary took over. It has also locally supported many other charities, such as the Sylvia Thomas Center, A Kid’s Place, and ECHO of Brandon.

Additional free parking, sponsored by Hawthorne Village, will be available at the First Baptist Church of Riverview, and shuttles will run throughout the event from the church to the Civic Center.

Those interested in entering the Alafia Lighted Boat Parade should contact Mike Broussard at
Michael.broussard@flyinglocksmiths.com For more information, email Jamie Simons at jsimons@pilka.com or visit www.alafi-aboatparade.com.