Skip to main content

Bonita & Estero Magazine

Come Along to the Boat-a-Long!

Dec 05, 2023 08:00AM ● By Ann Marie O’Phelan

The Boat-A-Long features live entertainment, food, and even a visit from Santa Claus. 

On the third Saturday of December, December 16, the 47th annual Holiday Boat-a-Long will occur along the Bimini Basin in Cape Coral. This free, family-friendly event will feature live entertainment, local food trucks, crafts for kids, a visit from Santa Claus, and the beloved boat parade. 

Indeed, dozens of boats light up the basin with dazzling holiday lights and cheerful decorations—that will surely get you in the holiday spirit. The boats, in all shapes and sizes, launch at the Four Freedoms Park, shortly after dark, when their lights glow, and their decorations shine brightly. Everything from wreaths to garlands to Santas to Elves to holiday music decorates the boats and serenades the crowd. After endearing the park crowd, the boats meander down the nearby canals—much to the delight of the waterfront South Cape residents.

 “Santa Claus and his elves will spread even more holiday cheer along Cape Coral’s Bimini Basin,” says the City’s Public Information Specialist Lauren Kurkimilis.

What’s new this year is the addition of a vendor village at the event. “Patrons can enjoy some food and drinks from local food trucks—all while shopping for holiday gifts from local vendors,” explains Kurkimilis.

Stick around after the boat parade for the FREE Movie in the Park featuring the 2004 hit film "Polar Express," the animated musical fantasy film starring Tom Hanks. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the fun—and help ensure you have a place to sit and a way to stay warm.

“This event is a great opportunity to celebrate the holidays the Cape Coral way, and is something many look forward to every year,” says Kurkimilis.

A free shuttle runs from various downtown parking lots to the event. Those interested in having their boat in the parade can register with Sea Tow by calling 239-945-4820.

Plan your visit: Annual Holiday Boat-A-Long, December 16, 2023, 4:00-9:00 p.m. Four Freedoms Park, 4818 Tarpon Ct, Cape Coral,

Ann Marie O’Phelan is a SW Florida resident and a regular contributor to TOTI Media.