However, what the group is most noted for is their sponsorship of the annual “Holiday Lighted Boat Parade.” Held a few days before Christmas, this parade, which is meant to celebrate the life restored to the River, includes all types of water craft ( up to 200 vessels for the 2019 event), decorated in the holiday spirit. The watercraft owners who wished to participate, lined up at Tampa’s Convention Center and traveled the River, following the Riverwalk, to Armature Works and then returned.
As has been the case with many events we have witnessed during our travels, happenstance informed us of this parade. We were fortunate that our apartment was only a couple of blocks from the Hillsborough River. This allowed us the opportunity to secure a prime viewing area next to the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Winter Village in plenty of time to see the whole parade.
It was interesting to experience Christmas without the typical snow on the ground, to which we had grown accustomed.
As you will notice in the accompanying photographs, this viewing spot had the parade of boats backdropped by the illuminated University of Tampa campus and its Henry Plant historic hotel. It was perfect. We did not include any captions to the pictures because we felt they spoke for themselves ( although the first two photos are of the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Winter Village area). We were amazed by the variety of decorations on the boats. Some were simple, while others were quite elaborate.
So....why Christmas in July? By now, you may have noticed that there is a delay between an event or attraction we experienced and our blogging about it. The answer is that we often see as many as five different attractions in a day, but only are able to blog about one ( because of the time it takes to gather information, put it into a cohesive format, and then choose appropriate pictures for each posting . On top of that, Weebly limits the number of photos we can attach to each posting). So in December of 2019, we were in Tampa for a month and got to see this marvelous parade.