The 50th Anniversary Winterfest Boat Parade of 2021 sponsored by Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was held on December 11, 2021.  It could be seen at 512 NE 3rd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.  It was a sight for everyone to see.  People come from all over to see this spectacle held in Fort Lauderdale every December.  If you haven’t seen it, you are definitely missing out!  Thankfully, it happens every year and it seems to get better and better as the years go by.  Bars are raised and challenges are met with music, lights, entertainment, and themes you would not expect.  Pack the cooler and make plans to attend!

There were many entries of a variety of vessels in the boat parade.  There were kayakers, paddleboarders, barges, charter boats in a variety of lengths, commercial vessels in a variety of lengths, government boats, non-profit boats of different lengths, sailboats, showboats, and private boats of different lengths.  There was something to see for everyone from small children to their great-grandparents!  After all, who doesn’t like seeing beautiful Christmas lights, themes from their childhood and rocking Christmas music that can be heard for miles?!

There were awards given in many different categories to the many different vessels.  Here is a break down of who won what awards.

Rookie Awards were given to #45 Kama Suture, #32 Dunn Deal, #90 Bella Candela, #87 Mega Yacht Squad House and #93 Perfect Life.

Pre-Show Awards were given to #G Moore Paddleboarders for Best in Lights, #H South Florida Kayak Meet-Up for Best in Entertainment and #D Romantic Venice for Best Overall.

Barges had their own category.  #7 AARP Celebrates 50 Years of Winterfest onboard Ballyhoo won Best in Lights, #20 Ballyhoo One won Best Theme and #2 Winterfest Fireworks Presented by Ford won Best Overall.

Showboats were in their own category.  #4 The Grand Marshall Showboat presented by Fifth Third Bank won Best Theme, #6 Republic National Distributing Company onboard Catalina won Best in Entertainment, #22 WSVN onboard The Venetian Lady won Best in Lights and #18 Jr. Captain Showboat powered by FPL and Two Men & A Truck won Best Overall.

Government boats were on hand in the parade.  #3 Fort Lauderdale Fire Boat #49 won Best in Lights and #1 U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hudson won Best Overall.

Charter boats sized 20 feet to 59 feet and 60+ feet won awards that night.  #80 Love Shack won Best in Entertainment 20-59 feet, #66 Island Time won Best in Lights 20-59 feet, #62 Blue Foot Pirates with Florida Renaissance Festival won Best in Sound 20-59 feet, #10 The Beatles onboard Water Taxi won Best Theme 20-59 feet and #49 Cruising Tikis won Best Overall 20-59 feet.  For the charter boats 60+ feet, #50 50th Anniversary of Winterfest won Best in Entertainment, #23 Celsius onboard Caprice won Best in Lights, #58 Winterfest Patriotic Red, White & Blue onboard Water Taxi won Best in Sound, #100 West Marine Brings Santa onboard Jungle Queen won Best Theme and #57 Under the Sea onboard Water Taxi won Best Overall.

Sailboats made their way into the parade with style.  #33 Toy Soldiers onboard Otter won best in Entertainment, #31 Sea Scouts onboard Shake-A-Leg Miami won Best in Lights, #35 Navigator won Best Overall 20-59 feet and #98 Red Cross onboard Unexpected Pleasure won Best Overall 60+ feet.

Commercial entries were all decked out for the holidays as well.  The sizes of the boats in this category were 20-34 feet, 35-59 feet and 60+ feet.  #29 Poseidon Marine won Best in Lights for 20-34 feet, #12 The Ice Cream Float won Best Theme for 20-34 feet, #51 Sea Town & The 12 Dinghies on Christmas won Best Overall for 20-34 feet, #17 Karma Broward onboard Midnight Express won Best in Lights for 35-59 feet, #8 Advanced Roofing onboard Millie won Best Overall for 35-59 feet and #53 Magic Moment won Best Overall for 60+ feet.

Non-Profit boats had their own category for awards.  In the 20-34 feet category: #13 Biscayne Bay Foundation won Best in Lights and #25 Key Largo won Best Overall.  In the 35-59 feet category: #83 Renand Foundation onboard Soar won Best in Entertainment, #89 Marine Toys for Tots onboard Stay Afloat Party Boat won Best in Lights, #67 ESPE Foundation onboard EPIC won Best in Sound, #34 War Eagle G-4 Good Foundation won Best Theme and #96 Florida Children’s Theater onboard Black Pearl won Best Overall.  In the 60+ feet category: #73 Chabad Lubavitch of Fort Lauderdale onboard Flamingo won Best in Entertainment, #37 The Fine Experience won Best in Lights, #97 Catholic Health Services Live Nativity onboard Water Taxi won Best Theme and #54 Flockfest onboard Rubber Duck won Best Overall.

Private boats participated as well in the festivities.  In the 20-34 feet category: #86 Closing Time won Best in Lights, #91 Brandon’s Boat won Best in Entertainment, #28 Sailfish won Best Theme, #15 The Paris Princess won Best Theme and #16 Felicity won Best Overall.  In the 35-59 feet category:  #42 Nauti Pilot won Best in Entertainment, #69 La Sirene won Best in Lights, #11 We Will Rock You won Best Theme and #64 Miss Nicole won Best Overall.  In the 60-79 feet category: #71 Don’t Stop Believin’ won Best in Sound, #52 Sexy Fish won Best Theme and #21 Mr. Bobb won Best Overall.  In the 80+ feet category: #70 El Ladrillo III won Best in Lights, #60 Miss Direction (Our very own, Patrick Zarrelli and the SFL Media crew hosted this yacht) won Best in Sound and #36 Savoir Faire won Best Overall.

Specialty awards were given to a few participants of the parade.  The Admiral Award for Spirit and Enthusiasm was given to #99 Winterfest Rudolph onboard Miss Pontoon.  The Joe Millsaps Award for Military Spirit was given to #14 NSU Student Veterans onboard Starmaker.  The Beacon Lights Awards for Use of Moving Lights was given to #75 Turnaround.  The Kaye Pearson Award for Spirit of Innovation was given to #74 MSP Recovery onboard Namaste.  The Bob Leider Best in Television award was given to #70 El Ladrillo III.  The People’s Choice was awarded to #21 Mr. Bobb!

The last award to be given out was the Passionate for Parades award it was given to the following participants for being in multiple parades.  The recipients are:  Advanced Roofing onboard Millie, Magic Moment, Nauti Pilot, Sea Tow, South Florida Kayak Meet-Up, The Fine Experience, Turnaround, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

All of the participants in the Winterfest Boat Parade of 2021 put on an amazing show for us.  We are forever grateful for them for adding to our Christmas spirit.