2019 Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Annual Christmas Event in Alexandria, VA
December 7, 2019
Parade 5:30 p.m.
Dockside Festivities 2 to 8 p.m.
Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

Old Town Alexandria's historic waterfront will shine for the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m. as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company and holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Take part in hands-on activities including a Letters to Santa postcard station from paper goods boutique Penny Post, a holiday craft activity from AR Workshop Alexandria and a bookmark making station from Old Town Books. Enjoy savory meatballs from Pizzeria Paradiso and a hot chocolate bar from Dolci Gelati. On the Alexandria City Marina, Riverside Taco Company presents a Parade Day Patio Party with hot cider and bottomless bites included in admission. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.

The Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is part of a Potomac River holiday tradition with The District’s Holiday Boat Parade taking place at The Wharf in Washington, D.C. the same evening at 7 p.m.

Click here for this year's list of participating boats and their themes (PDF).

Event Schedule

  • 2 p.m.           Dockside festivities begin
  • 3:30 p.m.      Santa arrives by fireboat
  • 5:30 p.m.      Parade begins
  • 8 p.m.           Dockside festivities conclude

Dockside Festivities

All activities take place from 2 to 8 p.m. at Waterfront Park, 1 King Street, unless otherwise noted. View a PDF map of dockside activities and parade viewing areas.

Food & Beverage

All food and beverage is offered 2 to 8 p.m. at Waterfront Park, 1 King Street, unless otherwise noted.

Parade Details

Parade Start Time and Duration: The parade begins at the Alexandria City Marina at 5:30 p.m. and can be viewed in public parks along Alexandria’s waterfront. Please note the duration of the parade can vary from 30 minutes to an hour based on total participants, cruising speeds and river conditions. Plan to arrive early and allow plenty of time to get to your parade viewing site to ensure that you don’t miss the parade.

Parade Viewing Areas: The parade stretches for one mile along Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront. Please note there is limited visibility within the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.) while parks may offer a more comfortable, less crowded viewing experience.

View a PDF map of viewing areas which are also listed below.

20th Anniversary Boat Parade Logo

Presenting Partners

Visit Alexandria Logo

Potomac Riverboat Company by Hornblower

Old Dominion Boat ClubAlexandria City Governement Logo

Media Partner

Wash-FM

VIP Reception Sponsor

Blackwall Hitch Logo

Commemorative Gift Sponsor

The Old Town Shop

2018 Best of Alexandria Show: Letter of Marque, Captain Walter Weiss, “Hanukkah, the festival of lights”
2018 Best of Alexandria Show: Letter of Marque, Captain Walter Weiss, “Hanukkah, the festival of lights”
2018 Best Powerboat: Iechyd Da!, Captain Larry Chandler, “A Bohemian Rhapsody Holiday”
2018 Best Powerboat: Iechyd Da!, Captain Larry Chandler, “A Bohemian Rhapsody Holiday”
2018 Best Sailboat: Dark Star, Captain Doug Savage, “Little Drummer Boy and Friends”
2018 Best Sailboat: Dark Star, Captain Doug Savage, “Little Drummer Boy and Friends”
2018 Best Spirit of America: Mental Recession, Captain Seth Frankel, “Caps Caps Caps” celebrating Stanley Cup champions the Washington Capitals
2018 Thinking Outside the Christmas Box: Firefly, Captain Dave Easter, “Jingle Bones”
2018 Most Animated: Kairos, Captains Michael Bradford and Tipper Williams Bradford, “Kairos Christmas on the Potomac”
2018 Most Holiday Cheer: Reva D, Captain Rich Hart, “The Griswalds”
2018 Most Spirited Crew: Blown Away, Captain Mike Moreau, “Nightmare Before Christmas”
2018 Best Theme: Fuelin Around, Captain Jack Stoddard, “Christmas Cheer”
2018 Hardiest Soul: O'Sea Dee, Captain Wil Neubauer, “A Blue Christmas” with Elvis impersonator
2018 Best Try: Nelson, Captain Hank Hart, “Starry Night, Winter Lights”

Getting Here

The parade is accessible via Metrorail (blue and yellow lines), bus, Lyft, Uber, taxi, Capital Bikeshare and more. Once on King Street, hop on the free King Street Trolley and head all the way to the waterfront.

Boater Registration

Registration for the 2019 parade is now closed. For assistance, please contact alexboatparade@visitalexva.com or call 703-652-5352. Registered boaters can find information here.
 

Prize Sponsors

Thank you to these generous businesses who donated prizes for this year’s winning boats.

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