The 36th annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade is being held on Saturday, December 7 at 5 p.m. at the Riverview Civic Center. In addition to the parade, there is a Chili Cook-Off as well as pictures with Santa.

The Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview is pleased to announce the 36th annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade and Chili Cook-Off, which will be held on Saturday, December 7 from 5-8 p.m. at the Riverview Civic Center. There is nothing better than celebrating a Florida Christmas than sitting along the river while watching the boats adorned with holiday lights and music pass by on the water.

This family-friendly event is the perfect way to jump start the joy of the holidays. In addition to the boat parade, you will be able to sample and vote for your favorite chili at the Chili Cook-Off for a $5 donation. Santa will also be available for photos and is taking notes on who is naughty and nice.

The parade of lighted boats will start at the 301 bridge at 5:45 p.m. and will continue past the Civic Center to 15 minutes past the Beer Shed, then circling back to end at River’s Edge Bar and Grill, where the award ceremony for the best decorated boats will be held.

Last year, more than 30 boats participated in the parade. Other activities during the evening will include a gingerbread house competition, a 50/50 raffle that will benefit county parks as well as music, fun and refreshments.

“I enjoy seeing all the fun that the families have at this event every year,” said Michael Broussard, assistant governor elect 2020 for the Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview. “Our very generous sponsors help make this event a success.”

The title sponsor for this event is Christopher Ligori & Associates, Attorneys At Law. Other sponsors and community supporters include River’s Edge Bar and Grill, Bill’s Prescription Center, Four Paws Veterinary Hospital, First Baptist Riverview, Serenity Meadows and Hawthorne Village.

“We are a charitable organization, and this event benefits the community,” said Broussard. “We are looking for sponsors at several levels and boats to parade down the Alafia for the benefit of many onlookers.”

There are several levels of sponsorship available and boaters are encouraged to participate by decorating their boats and partaking in the parade.

Those who want to compete for prize money are asked to donate $25, although boaters do not have to compete to participate. The best decorated boat will win $500 and bragging rights. The Riverview Civic Center is located at 11020 Park Dr. in Riverview.

For more information, contact Michael Broussard at or visit, where you can register for the events online.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.