Chain Of Lakes Lights Up With Winter Haven Boat Parade
by James Coulter
Every town has its own Christmas parade. But not every town has their parade on the water. As Winter Haven resides within the Chain of Lakes, it only makes sense that the City of Lakes hosts its annual Christmas parade on the water.
Several dozen boats decked themselves with Christmas lights and other decorations and took to the waters within the Chain of Lakes to participate within the 32nd Annual Winter Haven Chain of Lakes Boat Parade.
Hosted by Chain Life Winter Haven, the annual parade had participating boats gather on Lake May around dusk before setting off to Lake Howard, then back to Lake May, and then onto Lake Shipp for a round trip.
As the boats passed through each lake, attendees watching the parade could observe from the shore. Some stood upon the sandy banks, while others sat in lawn chairs or upon picnic blankets on the grass.
The parade passed by several lakeside eateries and bars, including Tanner’s Lakeside, Old Man Franks, Harborside Restaurant, and Caribbean Bay. Several patrons could see the parade while sitting and eating on the waterside patios. Many of these eateries even included extra amenities for the parade festivities including live musical entertainment and dinner specials.
Chain Life Winter Haven has been hosting the holiday tradition for the past several years. The event planning business hosts events such as this, along with the Floatilla, as it is, according to its website, “dedicated to promoting, revitalizing and enhancing public access to and use of the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.”
Each of the participating boats and their decorations were judged by judges watching the parade from Caribbean Bay and Old Man Franks. The winning boats, according to the Chain Life Facebook page, were as follows:
2nd Place: “Green Dragon”
1st Place: “Patriotic Palm Tree”
The owners of these winning boats are advised to contact Chain Life Winter Haven to receive their prizes. Please contact them at their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ChainLifeWinterHaven/