Winterfest Boat Parade about to set sail
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- South Floridians are gearing up for the biggest holiday celebration on the water.
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade is set to set sail at 6 p.m. Saturday, and boat after boat are set to light up the night and float down the Intracoastal, Saturday night. "This year, the parade is going to be the biggest and best we've ever had, so I welcome everyone to come on down and view it," said Bob Leider, Chairman of the Winterfest Board.
The party began Friday night with a gala party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. The Grand Marshal Reception kicked off the festivities at Passions Nightclub, with the introduction Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition."
But on Saturday, hundreds of boats are expected to take part in the greatest show on H2O. "There's just so many different and unique barges and floats this year with our beautiful theme, 'Musical Memories,'" said President and CEO of Winterfest, Lisa Scott-Founds, "and everybody is going to be making a musical memory this year."
And many people are excited about this year's grand marshal. "This year we are just thrilled because Deborah Norville of 'Inside Edition' has accepted Channel 7's offer to become this year's Grand Marshal of the Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade," said Leider.
Over 80 boats will line up on the New River along the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas and then head east down the Intracoastal Waterway.
Officials at the Riverside hotel are thrilled to be a big part of the parade for another year. "We are so excited to be the host hotel of the annual Winterfest Boat Parade," said Riverside General Manager Heiko Dobrikow. "It took us a whole year of planning, serving, once again, over 3,000 folks that will be viewing it right here at the Riverside."
City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said the Winterfest Boat Parade has become a holiday tradition for many families. "The Winterfest crowd has done such a great job of making this a family-friendly event," said Seiler. "It is an event that the families love, and children of all ages love it. You see children 8 years old and 80 years old down here on the river loving the event."
The parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and Scott-Founds said there are still many viewing areas available. "We sold out early this year. However, the Riverside has tickets, and you can still go in Birch State Park for only $3 a person and find a beautiful seat on the water."
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