Panama City's Annual Boat Parade of Lights - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Panama City's Annual Boat Parade of Lights

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There are your typical holiday parades, but here on the coast, we like to do things a little differently. For some, that means decking out their boats and cruising across St. Andrew Bay.

"I've been on the Betsy Ann Riverboat, which is wonderful, but we've never been in the light parade before so we're looking forward to seeing what it looks like after dark," said Tracy Tucker, a passenger on The Betsy Ann Riverboat.

Dozens of passengers of all ages hopped aboard the riverboat to ride in Panama City's 27th Annual Boat Parade of Lights.

"It's not your normal parade. We have lots of parades, but this one is the highlight," said Tucker.

Decked in lights, holiday wreaths, and American flags for this year's theme, "A Hero's Christmas - A Holiday Salute to our Troops,' the Betsy Ann led about 15 boats across St. Andrew Bay.

"We're a water based community so naturally the Boat Parade of Lights should be something larger than life," said Captain Rick Ackerman.

Just after sunset, near the St. Andrew Bay Yacht Club, the boats turned on their holiday lights, which created a glow across the water.

The parade headed west, passed by the Panama City Marina, where hundreds of people gathered to cheer and wave. Then on to the St. Andrews Marina, to wrap up the unique holiday tradition 

The Panama City and St. Andrews Marinas hosted different activities and vendors during the parade.