Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria

Annual Christmas Event in Alexandria VA

December 3, 5:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Marina

At sundown on the day of Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, experience one of the region’s most beloved holiday traditions with the 17th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

Alexandria's harbor shines as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria's fireboat, The Vigilant, and Washington, D.C.'s fireboat, John Glenn.

The parade begins on Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 5:30 p.m., with Jen Richer of 94.7 Fresh FM's "The Tommy Show" serving as the parade announcer. (We regret that Tommy McFly had to cancel his appearance unexpectedly.)

Boats will be decked to impress a panel of judges who will award prizes in a dozen categories, including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box, and Hardiest Souls.

Santa Claus will appear at the Alexandria City Marina before the parade at 3 p.m. He will arrive on Alexandria’s fire boat, The Vigilant, and will walk to the Torpedo Factory Art Center where he will be meeting with children until 6 p.m.

Visitors are invited to stop in the Torpedo Factory Art Center for its annual Holiday Festival from 2-6 p.m. Shop for handmade, one-of-a-kind unique and artful gifts while meeting artists and enjoying sweet treats in their studios. Kids can scout for art with a building-wide scavenger hunt before meeting with Santa. Special performances throughout the evening include appearances by the Alexandria Choral Society and Braddock Brass.

Joining the fun at the marina from 5-7 p.m. is the 94.7 Fresh FM Street Team, sponsored by Blackwall Hitch, providing music, games and prizes. Additionally, Blackwall Hitch’s outdoor patio will be tented and will serve as the perfect location to watch the parade and enjoy their selection of warmer cocktails.

Getting Here:

Alexandria is accessible via Metrorail, bus, Uber, Lyft, taxi, Capital Bikeshare and more. To come to the boat parade via Metrorail, take the yellow or blue line to the King St-Old Town station and ride the free King Street Trolley to the waterfront.


Dozens of illuminated boats

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Santa at the Marina

Santa arrives at marina

Torpedo Factory Art Center's Holiday Festival

Waterfront Activity


Thanks to our partner:

Blackwall Hitch Logo