Nov 30 2011

Charleston Holiday Boat Parade

If Santa could do things differently he’d ditch the sleigh and come by boat. Nobody understands this more than all the Charlestonians and visitors who come out year after year to watch the annual Holiday Parade of Boats.

Saturday, Dec. 3 will mark the 31st parade in the Charleston Harbor. Vessels of all styles and sizes will be decked out with twinkling lights, ornaments, and all kinds of Christmas fanfare as they make their way from Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant to the harbor.

The parade begins at 5 pm and ends in the Ashley River at about 7:30 pm, weather, currents, and tides permitting. At 6:45 pm, there will be a fireworks display over the harbor.

To view the parade, visit Waterfront Park, USS Yorktown, or secure a spot on the Battery to watch the boats cruise by.

Want to be a part of this nautical holiday tradition? Contact the Parade of Boats coordinator Ray Swagerty at (843) 724-7414 or email All captains and crews of the holiday boats will be able to participate in the Captain’s Party after the parade where awards will be given out for the best boats in the harbor.

More Holiday Fun

If you want to make a day out of getting into the holiday spirit, visit Marion Square at 4:30 – 6 pm for the lighting of the 60-foot official Christmas tree for the City of Charleston.

This official tree-lighting ceremony is a time-honored tradition perfect for families. Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley, Jr. and the one and only Santa Claus will be present at the event.

Look for a complete guide to Charleston’s holiday events in an upcoming blog on



Bob Hart Author

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