If you were going to watch a judged parade, where’s the best spot to watch? The finish right! More specifically, what would you say is the best place to watch Tampa's Lighted Boat Parade? Shhh. Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question. Yes, the finish line but also....ON A SHIP! What better way to watch a lighted boat parade than on a boat!

On the evening of December 18th, you can do both, be at the finish line and on a boat as Downtown Tampa’s RiverWalk comes alive with the spirit of the Holidays as it plays host to the annual Holiday Light Boat Parade

Beginning at 6:00pm at Rick's on the River, members of the Tampa community will take a slow cruise down river with their boats completely decked out in unique and impressive Holiday light displays past Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, around the Tampa Convention Center, ending at 8:00pm at the best viewing spot of all: the SS American Victory where the boats will be judged and a winner announced! 

All photos from Wikimedia Commons
One of only 4 fully-operational WWII ships left, according to www.americanvictory.org, this cargo vessel is a seaworthy time capsule preserved in its historic state by The American Victory Ship Mariners Museum as a staple of maritime history (with a collection of artifacts, uniforms, medals and exhibits on display in the ship’s massive cargo hold). But beyond the overall awesomeness of this viewing station, it’s also where all the action will be December 18th!

The ship will be the site of one awesome Christmas party with music, refreshments and fun Holiday festivities capped off by the arrival of totally decked-out floating participants!  Everything leads to the American Victory Ship Mariners Memorial Museum. While everyone catches a momentary glimpse of the spectacle from other spots, you will have the best view, a party, and will see who wins!

Tickets for space aboard the ship are $12.00 for adults, $7.00 for kids ages 4-12, and a $10.00/person group rate. The party’s over by 9:00pm so we won't keep you up too late! Follow the event link and click TICKETS to buy your tickets today securing your spots onboard! 

If you have a boat and are thinking, hmmmmmmmmm, I'd like to enter MY BOAT, grab your friends, co-workers, and family and show the city of Tampa your decorating skills. If you want to participate sign up online with the Tampa Downtown Partnership, (Registration is $50) or call 813-221-3686 to enter your pride and joy!

Christmas lights do not only belong to a house! Come join the fun, view from along the Riverwalk or join the revelers on the historic  American Victory Ship Mariners Memorial Museum this December 18th!