Get ready to pop some bottles and enjoy a classic holiday parade Tampa-style. That’s right, The Friends of the Riverwalk’s annual boat parade will return this 4th of July. Prepare for a celebrate under the sun and the stars before a multi-mile fireworks display takes place. Registration will open for local boaters wanting to participate in the festivities the first week of June.
The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began years ago but is still practiced in many fishing and boating communities around the world to ensure a safe and bountiful season. Boats will be decked out in red, white and blue and compete for the most patriotic boat in the small/motorboat and large/sailboat competitions. Registered boaters will partake in a Poker Run for a chance to win the grand prize! The boat parade will be followed by fireworks displays at multiple locations.
Celebrate the 4th of July in downtown Tampa
Tampa residents and visitors alike can enjoy the 4th of July Parade beginning at 6pm along the Tampa Riverwalk. Post up at Armature Works in Tampa Heights, or Sparkman Wharf along Water Street, or anywhere in between to enjoy this fabulous celebration.
This boat parade will also include a traditional blessing of the fleet. The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. The practice began predominantly Catholic but is now practiced by all denominations as a blessing from the local clergy that is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season. Each boat will be festively decorated in hopes of bringing home a prize. There will be one locations for boats to receive a blessing. Boats simply need to drive by the station to receive their blessing. This event will take place at Sparkman Wharf prior to the launch of the boat parade.
You can find a full breakdown of the parade map, and event calendar
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