A boat parade participant drives past a group of vessels with occupants watching from the water in last year’s Key Largo Boat Parade. DAVID GROSS/Keys Weekly

Boats decked in holiday cheer and decorated to the “Christmas Around The World” theme will illuminate Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound during the annual Key Largo Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 9. 

Presented by the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club, the evening will culminate with a fireworks display sponsored by Plantation Boat Mart in Tavernier. 

Boats can enter the lighted parade for free, and a total of $2,500 in cash and prizes are on the line in various categories for small and large vessels. Boats will vie for Most Colorful, Most Original, Best Use of Theme, Best Business, Best Boat Under 25 Feet and Best Boat Over 25 Feet. 

“This year’s theme allows boat parade participants the ability to be creative with traditions around the world through decorations, costumes and music,” said Lisa Feliciano, Key Largo Sunset Rotary president and organizer of the Key Largo Boat Parade. “Plenty of prizes and gifts are available for those who enter their boats.”

With assistance from Sea Tow, boats will line up near Dusenbury Creek Green Marker 41 around 6:30 p.m. in anticipation of a 7:30 p.m. start. Spectators can get a good glimpse of the boat parade from bayside destinations like Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill, Sundowners, Caribbean Club and Reefhouse Resort & Marina. Boats will continue the procession to Moon Bay Condominiums at MM 104.3.  

Following the parade, fireworks will light the skies of Blackwater Sound. The fireworks display is sponsored by Plantation Boat Mart and Dennis De La Torre, owner. Located in Tavernier, Plantation Boat Mart has been a part of the community for 36 years. De La Torre bought the business in 1996. 

“We want to bring the community together for this event,” said son Ryan De La Torre. “I’ve always loved this event growing up and seeing a great fireworks display.”

Those wishing to sign up their boats for the parade can visit and click on the parade entry form at the top of the page. Stay up to date with all the happenings by following the Key Largo Boat Parade on Facebook. Proceeds from the boat parade go to support the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club’s efforts to assist the community.