The Rotary Club of Winter Park presents, along with Southeast Marine Sales, the 9th Annual Winter Park Boat Parade & Festival of Lights and Ski Show which will take place December 14th on Lakes Virginia and Osceola. The Winter Park Boat Parade and Festival of Lights is a fun, community-wide water parade with holiday-themed and lighted boats along the lakes’ shorelines.
3:30 pm: Water ski show presented by Southeast Marine Sales will be on Lake Virginia with viewing on the Rollins College campus by the Jump Ramp in front of the Campus Student Center/Swimming Pool. The area’s leading water skiers will be performing a one-hour ski show set to music. Over two dozen professional skiers will be pulled by Tige’ boats performing routines featuring jumps, multiple skiers’ acts, barefoot, wake boards, and high-performance equipment.
4:00 pm to sundown: The Polasek Museum hosts the official viewing station and judging stand for the Winter Park Holiday Boat Parade, where the festivities kick off with live music, face painting, a sculptural Christmas tree unveiling with this year’s artist sculptor Amy Wieck and her apprentice, family art activities and Santa. This year’s parade will truly be an event to remember; watch as the historic Capen-Showalter House floats on top of a barge at the center of this spectacular procession around the lake. Witness this engineering marvel in action, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Rotary Club of Winter Park hosts this fundraiser to benefit local non-profits, with food, wine and beer available for purchase. Admission to the Polasek Gardens for the Parade is FREE. Limited onsite parking will begin at 3:30 p.m. for a $5 donation. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, friends and family to The Polasek to enjoy a Winter Park holiday tradition. Additional public viewing of the boat parade at Dinky Dock (off Fairbanks Avenue) beginning at sundown. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. Be sure to stop by at the WUCF tent and say hello! They will be on hand to emcee the festivities and play some great jazz music (including jazz with a holiday theme)! The Gazebros Band (Sheila Aquilia, lead vocal; Jack Byrd, vocal, guitar, mandolin, harp; Trevor Hall, vocal and guitar; Craig Taylor, vocal, guitar and banjo; Chip Weston, guitar and percussion) will be entertaining with selections culled from the great music of the 40s through the present time, with an emphasis on classic rock, folk, bluegrass, and blues. They will also be adding some “sing-along” holiday tunes for the evening. The Winter Park Public Library’s Spellbinders will perform/recite Christmas stories. Other musical offerings will include the “Minute Men,” an all-male, a cappella Winter Park-based choral group, performing Christmas carols live (approximately a 15- to 30-minute set).
Sundown: The parade will begin on the east shore of Lake Virginia (near Dinky Dock) and proceed clockwise around the shores of Lake Virginia, navigating through the Palm Canal to Lake Osceola.
About 6:30 pm: Boat parade passes in front of judges at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens and continues around Lake Osceola.
CALL FOR BOATS: Organizers of the event are seeking resident and business boat entries. For resident boats there is no entry fee, and all local licensed area boat owners are invited to participate. Boat registration is required with applications available at www.wpboatparade.com or by calling 407-647-6294.
Key Sponsors: Southeast Marine Sales; The Rotary Club of Winter Park; The Mayflower; Scenic Boat Tours of Winter Park; Winter Park Memorial Hospital; Costco; City of Winter Park Lakes and Waterways Department; Beck Realty, LLC; Francesco’s Ristorante-Pizzeria in Maitland; Rollins College; and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens.