FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Following a pandemic pause, the greatest show on H2O made a remarkable return, just in time to mark a big birthday.

The 50th Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade brought in a wave of dazzling decorations to the Intracoastal Waterway this weekend after missing a year due to COVID.

Jennifer Ducan was among the spectators getting ready to watch the festive vessels cruised by in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Saturday evening.

“Everybody is happy that they can be outside and enjoy each other’s company, and it’s a great start to the holiday season,” she said.

“It’s nice to have it back. It’s a nice welcome back,” said another spectator.

7News cameras captured revelers standing outside balconies and in waterfront cafes before this year’s edition of the enduring holiday tradition kicked off.

But the best seat was dockside right next to the water, where people pulled up chairs and waited for the festivities to start.

Revelers in the holiday spirit pointed out the weater was perfect for the occasion.

“I’m in shorts, flip-flops and a T-shirt,” said a man.

The Grand Marshal for the 2021 parade was actor and TV personality Mario Lopez.

“It’s such an incredible tradition. I love that the community gets so involved,” he said.

As the sun set, crowds poured into various parties.

Over 100 boats took to the water this year, including 7News’ own cruise.

Cameras captured 7News anchors Craig Stevens and Belkys Nerey as they smiled and waved at spectators

“Happy holidays, everybody,” said Nerey.

Those watching the brightly lit vessels motor down the New River said this is a tradition they make sure not to miss.

“The whole entire parade, I’ve seen it many times. It’s wonderful,” said a woman wearing a Santa hat.

“We’ve been [coming] here since 1985 looking at boat parades,” said another woman.

“It’s a tradition. It’s definitely a Christmas tradition,” said a third woman.

For another reveler, this was her first time.

“Oh, my God, incredible. I mean, it’s beautiful, like, it was just star-filled,” she said.

Another woman was really feeling the joy of the season.

“Can I give you a kiss?” she asked 7News reporter Brandon Beyer.

“Let’s do a high five,” replied Beyer.

7News will air the Winterfest Television Special on Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. It will air again several times through Dec. 31. For more details, click here.

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