Christmas Boat Parade Honored


Lighting up the Night

The 31st annual Christmas Boat Parade, held December 7, 2019 is a beloved holiday tradition on Fort Myers Beach and this year, it earned a top 5 spot in the Best Holiday Parade competition in the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest.

Coming in at number 5, our Christmas Boat Parade beat out several more widely known parades, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Twenty nominees for the contest were selected by an expert panel with the public voting for the winners, announced Friday, December 13, 2019. The top ten winners were:

  1. America’s Thanksgiving Parade
  2. Tournament of Roses Parade
  3. Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
  4. Ford Holiday River Parade
  5. Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade
  6. Sparks Hometown Christmas Parade
  7. Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
  8. Reston Holiday Parade
  9. Christmas Ships Parade
  10. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Christmas Boat Parade is sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce. Held on the first Saturday in December, the parade delights both participants and parade viewers who line up along the back bay and canals to get a view of the brightly decorated boats.  This year’s Grand Marshall was John Murphy, Jr., a World War II veteran. This year those winners were:


Non-Sponsored Large: Chillin’ the Most

Non-sponsored Small: The Mav, Brenneister, Shelbi Kay (tie)

Sponsored Large: Sea Racer Tours

Sponsored Small: Davidson Painting

People’s Choice: Simple Dreams.


Photos by Sarah List.