A boat decorated in lights and holiday cheer makes its way down Blackwater Sound in Key Largo during last year’s Key Largo Boat Parade. CONTRIBUTED

In their illuminated boats, pirates are set to invade and entertain spectators from Key Largo’s Blackwater Sound. The 2020 Key Largo Boat Parade returns for another year, and it’s set to bring excitement and shimmering color that’ll light up the nighttime waters. 

The Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club is proud to put on the holiday boat parade for the second year in a row. Set for Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m., the theme of this year’s parade is Pirates of the Keys. Illuminated boats ranging up to 55 feet, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and other vessels will traverse the waters of Blackwater Sound to kickoff this annual holiday tradition. 

A committee of energetic Key Largo Sunset Rotarians had a kickoff meeting on Sept. 21. Sponsors and boat participants are currently being sought for this year’s event. 

“From the participants who decorate their boats to the spectators on land, the Key Largo Boat Parade is a holiday tradition for many in the Upper Keys,” said Lisa Feliciano, Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club president. “We’re elated to be putting on this spectacular event yet again this year that in turn benefits the community.” 

The parade is taking into consideration the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and taking appropriate measures. There will be no in-person pre-captains meeting. Instead, the meeting will be conducted virtually. 

The best public viewing locations for the parade include the Marriott Resort, Jimmy Johnson’s

Big Chill, The Caribbean Club and Sundowners Restaurant. Venues will be responsible for social distancing and other measures to keep the public safe. 

The parade is a fundraiser for the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club Foundation, a local non-profit organization whose mission is to identify and support the needs of the elderly through service projects that create lasting, positive changes in our community. The club received its charter in July 2019 and currently has just over 35 members. 

For more information and to stay updated on all the latest developments, visit Key Largo Boat Parade’s Facebook page or Those looking to sponsor or participate in the event can call Feliciano at 305-766-0643 or Jim McCarthy, president-elect, at 305-850-8034. 

Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club members volunteer their time to judge boats. Pictured from left are Sharon Kittle-Smith, Jen Cappadona and Christina Boilini. CONTRIBUTED