Broadway-themed Winterfest Boat Parade lights up Intracoastal

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - The 46th annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade set sail from Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Saturday, bringing thousands of revelers some holiday fun — with a musical theater and country flavor.

The festivities kicked off on Saturday evening on the New River in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and is currently bringing together families and friends with the year’s theme, “Broadway on Parade.”

Thousands filled the grandstands to watch more than 80 boats light up the Intracoastal Waterway. Among the musicals to which the vessels paid tribute were “Beauty and the Beast” and “Wicked.”

The festive display on the water dazzled spectator Erica Sperber and her family. “It’s really exciting. It has good energy, and the kids are having a blast,” she said.

This year’s grand marshals, country duo Big & Rich, performed along the 12-mile route.

7’s own yacht, all decked out in imagery from FOX-TV’s upcoming “A Christmas Story Live!” movie, made its way from the New River to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach. 7News anchors Craig Stevens and Belkys Nerey smiled and waved to the cheering crowd.

Yachts, boats, and even paddleborders jostled to grab spectators’ attention.

“I just love it all, the whole atmosphere,” said David Blake. “It’s cold out. That was nice, you know.”

And it wasn’t just a party on the water. Every member of the family got in on the holiday fun before filling the grandstands.

“All that matters is being with my family,” said Lori Trezza, who is visiting from Connecticut.

“it’s about family,” echoed Fabian Ospina.

South Floridians felt the chill and got festive, like a family who wore traditional Christmas lights around their necks. “It’s ice to get a little cooldown in December,” said Jill Migaldi.

It’s fun. I love coming to this event,” said Nicole Swade. “It’s one of my favorite events in December.”

Families also posed for a holiday picture.

“I’m really happy, and I’m really excited,” said Soraya.

Children got in on the games, all before soaking in the holiday lights and sights.

And the fun never stops. Organizers told 7News they are already planning their 2018 parade.

7News is airing the 46th Winterfest Boat Parade on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m., with encores scheduled to air Christmas Day at 5 a.m. and noon, and New Year’s Day at 5 a.m. and noon.

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