Holiday parades are nothing new, but the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights has a unique twist—it takes place atop the water. To be more specific, the water of the Potomac River. Celebrating its 21st birthday this year, the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will once again bring holiday cheer to the waterfront on Saturday, December 4th, right around dusk.
Gather along the banks of the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria before the 5:30 p.m. start time to ensure you have a prime view of the floats floating by. Expect the boats’ captains to go all out because there’s cash on the line—the Best in Show snags $1,000, with other prizes awarded in categories like Most Holiday Cheer and Most Spirited Crew. In years past, captains have decorated according to themes like “Santa Goes’ Fishin with Buddy the Elf” and a Snoopy-inspired “Carol of the Bells.” Given that the parade was required to take a hiatus in 2020, you won’t want to miss its triumphant return—especially since it’s free to attend as a spectator!