a boat decorated with lights on the water
Dennis and Linda Turner’s “Ricochet” outshined 14 other vessels to capture Best Overall at the 2021 Key Colony Beach parade. ALEX RICKERT/Keys Weekly

It’s lighted boat parade weekend in Marathon, with Boot Key Harbor and Key Colony Beach set to hold festivities on back-to-back nights on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 and 11.

Boot Key Harbor will kick off the weekend with its 26th annual parade on Saturday at dusk. Sponsored by the Marathon Sail and Power Squadron, the procession will begin on the west side of the harbor and slowly make its way eastward, passing restaurants like Lazy Days, Burdines and Dockside before turning around in the boat basin at Sombrero Boulevard’s Yacht Haven Marina. A $500 grand prize awaits the best overall boat, with additional $250 prizes for the best decorated boat in each division and a special prize for the best decorated dinghy. An awards party hosted by Dockside Boot Key Harbor will immediately follow the parade. To sign up, visit or direct questions to Gregory Absten at 305-849-0285.

Presented by the KCB Fishing and Boating Club and KCB Community Association, Key Colony’s parade will close out the evening on Sunday at dusk in the canal between Sadowski Causeway and 7th Street. With multiple prizes up for grabs – $1,100 for Best in Parade, $500 for Best in Class for boats over and under 30 feet, and awards for the most colorful, most creative and most spirited crew – the parade is free to enter for boats of all sizes and shapes. Overnight docking is available upon request. Contact Ted Fischer via email at or by phone at 302-841-9812 to sign up.

See you on the water!

Alex Rickert
Alex Rickert made the perfectly natural career progression from dolphin trainer to newspaper editor in 2021 after freelancing for Keys Weekly while working full time at Dolphin Research Center. A resident of Marathon since 2015, he fell in love with the Florida Keys community by helping multiple organizations and friends rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Irma. An avid runner, actor, and spearfisherman, he spends as much of his time outside of work on or under the sea having civil disagreements with sharks.