Sleigh rides through a winter wonderland, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and Santa sloshing through the snow are typical scenes in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, there’s beach barbeques and surfing but A Christmas boat parade is a special way to celebrate the festive season.
In the Northern Hemisphere, London’s pantomimes are as much a part of British Christmas traditions as plum pudding and Father Christmas. Europe’s cobblestone towns have its Christmas markets, where the aroma of roasted almonds, chestnuts, gingerbread, smoked sausages and gluhwein wafts through the wintry air.
Christmas boat parade through the canals
In Australia, we look forward to poolside barbecues and seafood feasts.
But one of the most unique attractions in Mooloolaba is to see the Christmas boat parade.
Residents deck the hulls of their boats and canal-side homes to celebrate the holiday season.
The flotilla of yachts, power boats, outriggers, party boats and catamarans are dressed up for Christmas, with animated Christmas scenes and costumed carollers.
If you don’t live on the Sunshine Coast, chances are, you’ve probably never heard of the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade.
The annual parade of boats is one big Christmas boat party with yachts, outriggers, party boats and catamarans decked out with Christmas lights.
The night time boat lights brighten the waterways with a dazzling show of lights.
A Lighted Boat Parade is becoming a tradition
It has been going since 2002 and is a fun way for residents to celebrate Christmas in nautical style.
Revellers dress in Christmas colours and clink glasses.
Some people get right into the Christmas spirit by dressing up as Santa and elves.
The boats work their way through the harbour, to The Spit and back through the main canal.
There are public viewing areas, such as at La Balsa Park, Helen Penny garden near the Mooloolaba wharf, Charles Clarke Park and Outrigger Park.
People partying in the waterfront homes on the main canal have ringside seats.
The parade has grown to include events such as prizes for the best-decorated canal-front home and colouring-in competitions for the kids.
Here’s a video of what to expect from the Christmas boat parade.
For those of us who live in Australia, you know the silly season has arrived when you start filling your social calendar with poolside barbecues and seafood feasts.
But next year, don’t forget to attend the Mooloolaba Christmas Boat Parade.
More about Mooloolaba’s Christmas Boat Parade
Mooloolaba’s Christmas Boat Parade was organised by Mooloolaba Yacht Club and supported by the Sunshine Coast Council, The Wharf Tavern, The Wharf Mooloolaba and a roll call of local businesses.
For more Sunshine Coast attractions: