Sometimes it’s easy to underestimate the things that are in our own backyard.
For instance, the Winterfest Boat Parade which kicks off the holidays in South Florida every year.
How big a deal is it?
Well, first of all, go ahead and visit Google, and type in “Boat Parade.” You’ll find the Winterfest Boat Parade occupies the first position… and the second… and the third. A clean sweep for the search term, which means in all practicality that the Winterfest Boat Parade is THE boat parade, the one that is the measure of all the others.
Then look at some of the statistics:
- More than 1,000,000 spectators line the 12-mile parade route
- It’s the largest, one-day, live audience event in Florida
- It’s the seventh largest one-day spectator event in the country
- Winterfest was named to the Readers Digest list of “100 Best Events in America”.
And all this in Fort Lauderdale?
It’s no wonder, really.
There’s no state that says’ boating’ more than Florida. There are almost a million boat owners in the state with a whole lot of coastline to cruise. Ft. Lauderdale in particular has been called the ‘boating capital of the world’, and earns the title on several fronts:
- The vast numbers of boats in the more than 100 marinas in Fort Lauderdale many marinas at any one time.
- The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS)—the world’s largest
- More than 24 miles of beachfront and over 300 miles of waterways in total throughout Ft. Lauderdale
Moving up to the largest of private vessels, there are more than 50,000 registered yachts in Ft. Lauderdale alone! And on the very largest scale of watercraft, don’t forget about all the cruises that leave Port Everglades each week!
Winterfest Is Perfectly at Home in Ft. Lauderdale
Winterfest is more than just stunning boats adorned for the holidays, each one following the other in procession. The mission of Winterfest is:
To produce wholesome, unique, internationally recognized events that enhance Fort Lauderdale’s image and reflect the diversity and culture of South Florida.
The boat parade was already a tradition back in 1988, when community leaders created a non-profit organization around it. Winterfest promotes diversity among culture, race and religion, and boasts a base of over 300 volunteers, supporters, and sponsors.
There are more than 50,000 parades in the United States alone, but the Winterfest Boat Parade is singular and unique: the International Festival and Events Association named Winterfest one of the Top 20 Parades in the World. And it’s more than just boasting rights: Winterfest’s economic impact on the community is estimated at more than $50 million per year.
Yachting and the good life in general are synonymous with South Florida.
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