Gulf and Bay calendar

By Times staff
Published December 7, 2007

Boats ablaze with holiday lights

Holiday boat parades can be great fun, whether you're watching from the shore or on a participating boat. There are plenty in the next few weeks. Here is a list of boat parades in our area:

St. Pete Beach Holiday Boat Parade, 5:45 p.m., Saturday, Pass-a-Grille to St. Pete Beach: Holiday celebration begins 5:15 p.m. at Merry Pier, Eighth Avenue and Pass-a-Grille Way; with hot chocolate, Santa and blessing of the fleet. Boat parade follows and heads north along intracoastal waterway, through Boca Ciega Bay to St. Pete Beach Yacht and Tennis Club, 94th Avenue and Blind Pass Road. Free. (727) 363-2144 or (727) 347-4171.

Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade, 6 p.m., Saturday: With decorated kayaks, canoes and traditional craft. From Lowry Park, 7525 N Blvd., Tampa, upriver past illuminated Sulphur Springs Tower (at Florida Avenue Bridge), ending at the Harbor Club (Nebraska Avenue, across from Sulphur Springs City Pool). Best viewing is at riverfront park by pool and gazebo. Free. (813) 237-8497.

Boca Ciega Yacht Club Christmas Boat Parade, 6 p.m., Saturday, Gulfport to Pasadena: Begins at Gulfport Marina, 4630 29th Ave. S, passes in front of Gulfport Pier (6:30 p.m.), arrives at Pasadena Yacht and Country Club (7:15 p.m.) and ends at Boca Ciega Yacht Club (8 p.m.). Note: Parade will not go into Maximo and Broadwater canals this year. Free. (727) 572-1396 or (727) 321-7295.

St. Petersburg Lighted Boat Parade, 6:30 p.m., Saturday: Entertainment begins at 4 p.m. at the Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE; with Dickens Carolers, Tuba Christmas and Al Santana of WSJT-FM 94.1. Boat parade begins south of Bayboro Harbor, heads north around the Pier and into north Yacht Basin (south of Renaissance Vinoy Hotel). Best viewing from the Pier. Free. (727) 821-6443.

Island Estates Yacht Club Memorial Holiday Boat Parade, 6:30 p.m., Saturday: Illuminated parade starts in Mandalay Channel, between Island Estates and Clearwater Beach. It heads through canals of Island Estates to Coachman Park (around 8 p.m.); proceeds under new Memorial Causeway bridge and along causeway, into Clearwater Marina channel, and on to Clearwater Yacht Club, 830 South Bayway Blvd., Clearwater Beach. Free. (727) 461-1147.

Treasure Island Christmas Boat Parade and Holiday Celebration, 6:20 p.m., Sunday: Celebration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club, 400 Treasure Island Causeway; with holiday music, food and Santa. Boat parade leaves yacht club basin, passes through toll bridge (7 p.m.) and finishes at John's Pass (8-8:30 p.m.). Includes islands of Paradise, Palms and Capri. New, unwrapped toy donations requested at City Hall or Treasure Bay Tennis and Golf by Friday, or at yacht club to get family pass for holiday party and parade viewing. Rain date is Dec. 10. (727) 367-4511, ext. 236.

Lake Tarpon Boat Parade, 5:30 p.m., Dec. 15: Procession leaves from the Tarpon Turtle restaurant, 1513 Lake Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs, and loops the lake. (727) 722-9030; www.tarponturtle.com.

Indian Rocks Beach Lighted Boat Parade, 7 p.m., Dec. 15: Leaves from Holiday Inn Harbourside, 401 Second St., and moves north under Indian Rocks Bridge and through the fingers of Indian Rocks, ending south of Belleair Causeway, near Harbor Drive and 27th Avenue. Free. (727) 595-6889.

Hernando Beach Yacht Club Boat Parade, 6 p.m., Dec. 15: Based at the Yacht Club, 4163 Shoal Line Blvd., and runs through the waterway. Admission is one, unwrapped toy. (352) 596-3805.

Indian Shores and Redington Beaches Christmas Boat Parade, 5:45 p.m., Dec. 16: Begins at the north side of Tom Stuart Causeway. Heads north through the intracoastal waterway to the Pub restaurant in Indian Shores (arriving 9 p.m.). Best viewing from DelBello Park, 17925 Gulf Blvd.; Pinellas County Boat Launch at Park Boulevard; and Estelle Harper Park behind Indian Shores Town Hall, 19305 Gulf Blvd., where there will be holiday music at 7:30 p.m. Redington Shores, (727) 397-5538; Redington Beach, (727) 391-3875; North Redington Beach, (727) 391-4848; or Indian Shores, (727) 595-4020.

Downtown Tampa Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, 6:30 p.m., Dec. 22: Boats launch from Davis Islands. Parade ends at Convention Center, 333 S Franklin St., downtown. Best viewing from Channelside, Cotanchobee Park, Beneficial Bridge and the Convention Center area. Free. www.funintampabay.com.

Compiled by Ruth Walsh