2023 Destin boat parade entry

Your Guide to the Destin Holiday Boat Parade for 2023

This is your guide to the 37th Annual Destin Holiday Boat Parade, an event you don't want to miss! Coordinated by the Destin History and Fishing Museum, the parade is a Destin holiday favorite for all ages. Immediately after the parade, enjoy an exciting fireworks display and fire-spinning finale, sponsored by HarborWalk Village. 

Time & Date: The parade starts at 6:00pm on Sunday, December 10, 2023!

Cost: This is a free family event for those viewing from the docks. There is a $25 charge for boats who participate.

Parade Route: The Boat Parade kicks off at Boshamps, where boats adorned with festive holiday lights and decorations gather and set sail along the Harbor. They proceed past AJs and HarborWalk Village, making their way towards the Destin Bridge and Norriego Point.

Best Spots to View the Parade: There is public viewing from docks and restaurants between Harbor Docks and HarborWalk Village, Destin Bridges and Norriego Point. The Destin boardwalk or HarborWalk docks are probably the easiest places to get a nice view of the parade.

If you like more of a birds-eye view, the Destin Bridge is a good choice. It has a perfect vantage not only for view the boats as they make their way through the harbor, but for the fireworks display at the end of the evening. The bridge is a bit further, but easily accessed via the pedestrian walkway on the harbor side of the bridge. Remember to dress warmly, as the wind can be strong at times.

Dine & View
Make a night of it, and enjoy the parade from the upper floor of one of the local Harbor restaurants. Make sure to reserve or secure your seat early, but some choices may include Aj's Seafood, Tailfins, Margaritaville or Harry T's.

View From the Water
Experience the boat parade in a unique and enjoyable way by being a part of it. Many boat tour companies, such as Southern Star, provide special boat parade and fireworks cruises for that evening, so be sure to make reservations in advance.

Fireworks at the Destin boat parade

Join in the Boat Parade

Finally, join in the fun by being part of the parade. Get some friends together, decide on a theme, and go all out decorating your own boat. Participating entries will include area tour boats, dolphin cruise boats, fishing charter boats, and private boats.

Prizes are awarded for Overall Best Entry, Destin Harbor Heritage Award, Best Commercial Boats and Best Private Boats. Our very own, Niki Noblin, participated aboard the Wassiya in 2021 and 2022, captained by Royce Dahnke, winning multiple awards including Overall Best and Harbor Heritage Award.

How to Register: The cost to register a boat is $25. Registration starts Nov 10, 2023. Fill out your registration form online at the Destin History and Fishing Museum.

Santa's sled being pulled by the Wassiya - private boat in the Destin boat parade

The Destin Holiday Parade is family fun for both participants and viewers alike who line the Destin Harbor to enjoy a waterway sparkling with the joy of Christmas.

Santa in Destin boat parade

Posted by Tim Shepard - Broker on


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