The Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview is pleased to announce that the 37th annual Alafia Lighted Boat Parade and Chili To-Go event will be held on Saturday, December 5.

The celebration will take place at the Riverview Civic Center starting at 5 p.m. in conjunction with other sites located along the Alafia River. First United Methodist Church of Riverview has agreed to be a viewing site this year, and the boat parade winners will be announced at River’s Edge Bar and Grill.

Last year, the event featured many decorated boats, chili cook-off contestants and refreshments. Children received the opportunity to have their picture taken with Santa Claus, heard Christmas music and saw the bright holiday lights of the boats in the parade. More than 30 boats participated last year.

This year promises to be just as fun, with the added precautions that we need to take in our county due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, Santa will be on a boat greeting everyone as the parade goes down the river, chili will be offered to-go—sponsored by the Flying Locksmiths—at the two viewing sites for a donation of $5 and entertainment will take place outside at the Riverview Civic Center. The organizers hope to attract over 1,500 people to this annual Riverview tradition. All proceeds will fund charitable activities of the Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview and Friends of the County Parks.

Since its inception, the Rotary Club of FishHawk-Riverview has been involved in numerous service projects, including the College Scholarship Program ($58,000+), awarded to date to financially needy students at Riverview, Spoto and Newsome High Schools; the Alafia Lighted Boat Parade; High School Interact; Student Dictionary Distribution (over 9,000 dictionaries to elementary school children since program began); Rotary’s Camp Florida (camp for special needs children in Brandon); Group Study Exchange; Reading is Fundamental (more than 900 free books to Head Start students); S4TL (Seminar for Tomorrow’s Leaders); Sylvia Thomas Center; Brandon Outreach (over $10,000 given); ECHO; and local YMCAs (over $10,000 given).

Club members have separately given through dues and donations over $100,000 in the past 15 years to Polio Plus and The Rotary Foundation. The club has also twice participated with money and people power in global projects in Honduras, providing water filtration and latrine systems for local communities in that country.

Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 165 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to over 33,000 Rotary clubs.

For more information, email Boat Parade Chairperson Kim Tyson at hummingbird133@verizon.net.