It takes place Saturday, Dec. 11, from 6:30-11 p.m. The 12-mile route goes east on the New River and north on the Intracoastal to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.
This event is so huge it boats a million spectators – making it the largest one-day event in the Sunshine State and the seventh-largest one-day spectator event in America – and is THE happening event of the season in the entire area.
It even has a sponsor, the Seminole Hard Rock hotel and is broadcast live by a local television station.
This being Fort Lauderdale, one of the biggest boating communities in the USA, there’s all kinds of boats in the parade from small powerboats to fishing boats to yachts to large tour boats.
Winterfest Public Viewing Plus Fort Lauderdale Bars & Restaurants
So what’s the scoop? Well, it’s free to view unless you want to pay $25 for a grandstand seat in Birch State Park on the Northeast corner of Sunrise Boulevard and the Intracoastal. For free public places, anywhere along the route you can find, with the best spot being the staging area east of Stranhan House.
The most lively places are bars, restaurants and hotels along the route, nd there are plenty of these places both along the New River and the Intracoastal:
• New River: Briny Riverfront Irish Bar & Restaurant, Downtowner, Riverside Hotel
• Intracoastal Bars & Restaurants: Bokampers Sports Bar and Grill, Bahia Mar Beach Resort, Benihana, Blue Moon Fish Company, Chart House, Flip Flops Dockside Eatery, Grateful Palate, Kaluz & Shooters Waterfront
• Intracoastal Hotels: Residence Inn, Gallery One DoubleTree Suites
Winterfest Parade Viewing On A Boat
Then again, you could be on a boat.
If you’re not on a boat that’s in the parade, and have access to a boat, then this is a great way to enjoy the show. Have friends on board, cocktails, some holiday music and take it all in while rocking gently on the water next to dozens of others doing the same thing on other boats.
Here are the recommended anchor locations:
• New River Cut – South of the turn at Bahia Mar.
• Northeast side of the Las Olas Bridge.
• Southwest side of Sunrise Bridge.
• Western portion of Lake Santa Barbara – this is where the parade turns around.
There is no anchoring in Birch State Park or anywhere on New River, which closes to boat traffic at 2:30 p.m.
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