Lights are twinkling on homes across the island. Festive music is playing in shops, restaurants and from steel pans. And Saturday the St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade will light up the Christiansted harbor!
The Boat Parade started about 17 years ago when a group of boaters decided they wanted to give a special gift back to the people of St. Croix in gratitude for use of the beautiful waters surrounding our island. Over the years, it has grown from four boats to more than 20 – and attendance has grown from a few hundred to 5,000! A new tradition started last year – stand-up paddle boarders dressed as Rudolph and his team of reindeer join the parade to lead Santa’s dinghy.
Festivities, including steel pan music, Moko Jumbies, carolers, food vendors, and more, begin at noon on the boardwalk. One of this year’s highlights is a performance by Lazo at the Comanche Mill at 4pm. Lazo is one of the original Wailers who played with Bob Marley’s band and now travels the world sharing Marley’s hits.
Just before sunset, a flyover by either Seaborne or a hang glider is expected. Then the Parade begins! This year, 23 boats ranging from 16 to 68 feet in length will glide through the harbor with twinkling lights and holiday tunes. Some boats may even kick up a spray of water in their wake, making the audience cheer with delight. After the last boat makes its second lap around the harbor, a spectacular fireworks display will light up the sky as the grand finale.
The goal of the St. Croix Boat Parade is to bring the people of our beautiful island together, as well as many tourists who plan their travel around this special weekend, to celebrate the start of the holiday season and to support charitable children’s organizations. After each parade, donations are made to nonprofits, such as Toys for Tots, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Club, Jr. Achievement and Luv Kids.
The St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade formed a committee to help organize the event in 2004 and became a 501©3 nonprofit in 20211. Now, more than 300 volunteers and 14 committees help pull-off this spectacular event. Donations to the Boat Parade are welcomed to help offset expenses.
It is with much gratitude and Christmas joy that we thank the organizers and volunteers of the St. Croix Christmas Boat Parade for bringing this holiday celebration to us!