Boats, water and twinkling lights always make for a fun, unique family outing and Richmonders certainly love the waterfront. With so many bodies of water in the area, including the James River, Potomac River, Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay, there is no shortage of lighted boat parades taking place throughout the Richmond region this Christmas holiday season.
Please check back often as new events and attractions will be added as they become available.
****This event has been CANCELLED due to high water and debris. James River Parade of Lights– Saturday, December 10, 2011 – Boats travel from Richmond to Henricus Historical Park in Chesterfield County, with several viewing spots along the way. Trailerable boats are encouraged to participate. If you are interested in participating, please register your boat by Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. Awards in several categories will be presented at a celebration afterwards at the Richmond Yacht Club. There will also be raffles and prizes for boater participants. James River Advisory Council
Viewing locations and times for the James River Parade of Lights:
- Libby Hill (corner of 28th and Franklin) – entertainment at 4:30 p.m., parade at 6:00 p.m. Intermediate Terminal Dock (Water and Dock Streets) – parade at 6:00 p.m.
- Osborne Park and Landing (9680 Osborne Turnpike) – entertainment at 4:00, parade viewing 7:00–7:30 p.m. Dutch Gap Boat Landing (441 Oxendale Rd.) – parade viewing 7:30-7:45 p.m.
- Henricus Historical Park (251 Henricus Park Rd.) – entertainment at 6:00, parade viewing at 7:45-8:00 p.m.
Jackson Creek Christmas Cruise in Deltaville (about 57 miles from Richmond) – Friday, December 9, 2011 (rain date Dec. 10) – Sponsored by the Deltaville Community Association, Enjoy a hayride from the Deltaville Community Center (17147 General Puller Hwy, Deltaville, VA 23043) to the town dock where you’ll board the 57’ M/V Tortuga for a water tour of decorations along both branches of Jackson Creek. There is indoor seating with heat. Afterwards, it’s a hayride back to the Community Center for Santa visits and refreshments of hot cider and fresh baked cookies.
Tours leave at 5:00, 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are sold in advance and are $5.00 for ages 12 and up. Under age 12 is free but you must have a ticket. Tickets are sold at local businesses, including Nauti Nell’s. Only 60 tickets for each cruise will be sold. If cruises sell out, tickets will be sold at the door for an 8:00 cruise.
Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade at Yorktown, VA (about 65 miles from Richmond) – Saturday, December 3, 2011 (6:00 – 8:00) – The Yorktown waterfront becomes a festival of light with a beach bonfire, music, caroling, hot cider and local sail, pleasure and work boats competing for “Best in Show” at the Riverwalk Landing (425 Water Street, Yorktown, VA 23690). This is a free event. Please call (757) 890-4970 for more information.
23rd Annual Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade in Hampton, VA (about 77 miles from Richmond) – Saturday, December 3, 2011 (7:15 p.m.) – More than 20 boats are expected to participate in this free event at the downtown Hampton waterfront (710 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669). Illuminated power and sail boats will be visible from most anywhere along the Hampton River. Narration will take place at the Hampton Maritime Center.
The Miss Hampton II tour boat will be taking spectators into the action of the parade. Call (757) 722-9102 for reservations. A contribution of a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots is appreciated.
If you have a boat that you would like to enter, please contact the Hampton Public Piers at (757) 727-1276. Each vessel that enters has the opportunity to win a free dock slip during the 13th annual Blackbeard Pirate Festival (June 2012) or the 30th annual Hampton Bay Days (September 2012). One winner will be chosen at random and will have their choice between the two events. The estimated length of the parade is about 30 – 45 minutes. Free parking is available throughout the area.
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Alexandria, VA (about 91 miles from Richmond) – Saturday, December 3, 2011 – Festively decorated powerboats, sailboats and the District’s fire boat, the John Glenn, will light up the skyline along the Potomac River.
Schedule for the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade
- 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Music and entertainment at the Alexandria Waterfront docks
- 4:15 p.m. – Santa arrives by boat
- 5:00 p.m. – The parade starts at the Washington Channel, Water Street off of Maine Avenue in Washington, D.C.
- 6:00 – 7:00 – It will be at the Alexandria Waterfront, located behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which runs along Union Street, between King and Cameron.
- The parade ends at the Washington Harbor in Georgetown.
Washington Harbour Boat Parade(about 96 miles from Richmond) – Sunday, December 4, 2011 – The Dec. 3 Alexandria parade repeats itself with fun at Washington Harbour (Wisconsin Avenue, between M and N Streets) in Georgetown.
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