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Holiday Boat-A-Long

By Staff | Dec 14, 2018

On the 15th day of Christmas Cape Coral gave to thee, a boat parade on Bimini.

A longstanding tradition in the Cape, the Holiday Boat-A-Long will take place at Four Freedoms Park on Dec. 15, from 4 to 10 p.m., where residents can see nearly 100 boats of all shapes and sizes decked out in holiday-themed lights pass through Bimini Basin.

“We love putting this event on every year,” said Kristin Bean, senior recreational specialist for the Cape Coral Parks and Recreation Department, who organizes the event. “It helps bring out all of the great childhood memories of Christmas, but with a Florida twist.””

Going strong for over 40 years, the Holiday Boat-A-Long gives local captains a chance to garnish their bow with bows, illuminate lights from port to starboard sides and have some friendly competition with fellow participants to see who can get the biggest “Oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd.

“You can expect a fun, family friendly atmosphere,” Bean said. “We’ll have stage entertainment, holiday cheer and, of course, watching the beautiful boats come by.”

Attendees will be treated to live performances from Robin Dawn Dance, Hot Flashz and Definitely Dancers, as well as a special visit from Santa Claus himself.

The parade begins at 7 p.m., with Santa arriving at 6.

A holiday favorite movie, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” will also be played at the park at 8 p.m. (a family-friendly version).

The parade is coordinated by Sea Tow, as it organizes the lineup of boats to pass by Four Freedoms Park.

If Santa delivered presents via boat, this would be the crew to do it.

Snowbirds who travel down for the winter coordinate their time to align with the event, said Bean, as she said they field calls throughout the year asking when the Holiday Boat-A-Long takes place.

“This event provides such a holiday excitement in the community,” she said. “The event has grown significantly over time, and it’s great to see everyone cheer on the boats as they pass by.”

Food vendors will be on-site, as well as a small section of bleachers.

Bean advises those who can to bring a lawn chair.

There will also be a collection for “Toys for Tots,” as residents can bring an unwrapped, new toy to donate.

Parking is limited at Four Freedoms Park, but there will be a shuttle to transport people at the northeast corner of Southeast 47th Terrance and Southeast 10th Place (at the stop sign next to Big Blue Brewing).

“This is an event the city puts on for everyone to enjoy,” Bean said. “It’s a great tradition we have. Come take advantage of this unique experience.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Four Freedoms Park is at 4818 Tarpon Court, off Cape Coral Parkway, in Cape Coral.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj