This year, the 39th-annual Palm Coast Yacht Club's Holiday Boat Parade blew last year's record out of the water.
“Hundreds of hours were invested by these boaters in creating this magic for Palm Coast. It couldn’t have been a more perfect parade.”
— SARAH ULIS, Parade Committee chair
In 2021, the parade boasted 74 boat registrants, more than they had ever had.
This year, 90 boats lit up the Intracoastal Waterway on Saturday, Dec. 3. The parade started at 6 p.m. and made its way back to their launch point by 8 p.m., with boats from Flagler County Sheriff's Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and TowBoatUS escorting the line of parade boats.
The lead boat this year was "SunShine," a 55-foot, wide-bodied Viking captained by club members Donna Heiss and Ken Mazzie, according to a press release from the Yacht Club.
“Hundreds of hours were invested by these boaters in creating this magic for Palm Coast," Parade Committee Chair Sarah Ulis said. "It couldn’t have been a more perfect parade.”
The boats were decorated in intricate light displays featuring Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer and even dolphins pulling Santa's sleigh.
On the lead boat, the grand marshals — Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly and Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin — lead the way. The parade was held in honor of the late Joe Rizzo, a champion of the Flagler County School District, who died earlier this year, the press release said.
Flagler Broadcasting broadcast the parade live for the fourth year on KOOL-FM 100.9, the release said. Jazz singer Linda Cole and Priscilla Netts, wife of the late Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts, lead the broadcast.
The parade passed by Tidelands and then went south on the Intracoastal to Marina Cove, the Hammock, Yacht Harbor Village and Palm Coast Legacy Resort, according to the Yacht Club's website. It then passed under the Hammock Dunes Bridge along St. Joe Walkway and Canopy Walk, past Island Estates and Waterfront Park, then turned at the gazebo at Grand Haven.
Palm Coast residents could view the parade from their waterfront residences, Waterfront Park, St. Joe Walkway and Canopy Walk. The crowds cheered for each boat, and many captains played holiday music for the crowds as they passed.