A parade with floats … that float! The Wharf hosts the District’s Holiday Boat Parade

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews The District's Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf (Part 1)

This weekend is the perfect time to dress warm and watch dazzling holiday lights float by as the fireworks explode above.

A tradition continues as The Wharf hosts the District’s Holiday Boat Parade this Saturday, Dec. 2 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“It’s one of our biggest events of the year, so I highly suggest everyone get there early,” Julie Keleti, senior manager of media and marketing at The Wharf, told WTOP. “This is going to be the 31st annual District’s Holiday Boat Parade. It used to be in conjunction with Old Town, Alexandria, but now we have our own separate parade hosted here at The Wharf.”

The event kicks off at 6 p.m. with an array of holiday-themed activities, including holiday karaoke.

“Our Corona Beer Garden on District Pier will open, so grab yourself a festive drink,” Keleti said. “You can roast s’mores. We’ll have ornament decorating for kids and live music: The Royals and Too Much Talent Band. Of course, everyone’s favorite Santa will be arriving so you can get photos with him. Our 45-foot Christmas tree on District Pier will be lit with two beautiful toy soldiers in front … Then on Transit Pier, The Wharf Ice Rink will be open.”

The main event of the titular boat parade kicks off at 7 p.m. along the Washington Channel.

“We’ll have over 70 boats participating in the boat parade,” Keleti said. “They will simply travel up the Washington Channel and parade past The Wharf. All of the boats will be decked out in festive lights and stunning holiday decorations. In the past we’ve seen some very fun boat themes, including Washington Capitals themes, Washington Nationals themes — and I have heard that there may be a ‘Barbie’-themed boat this year.”

Once the parade ends, a dazzling fireworks display is planned for 8 p.m.

“The fireworks can be seen throughout the entire Wharf,” Keleti said. “They are shot off from a barge floating in the water, so you’ll have incredible views not only of the fireworks but also the beautiful Washington Monument behind it. The fireworks feature beautiful festive colors, including red, green and white.”

After that, stick around on District Pier for more live bands as the bar remains open.

“After the fireworks, the party continues on District Pier with live music,” Keleti said. “The Corona Beer Garden will continue to be open, so you can grab a festive drink. We’ll also have a fun celebration on Market Pier with Jack Daniels where you can sample Jack Daniels Whiskey and visit the Jack Daniels Barrel Tree.”

Proceeds benefit the Washington Area Fuel Fund, which helps neighbors in need heat their homes this winter.

“Happy holidays, D.C.!” Keleti said.

Listen to our full conversation here.

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews The District's Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf (Part 2)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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