Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights


Discover the wonder and joy of holidays traditions in Alexandria with the 10th annual Burke & Herbert Holiday Boat Parade of Lights.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, from 6-7 p.m., Alexandria's harbor will sparkle when 50 brightly lit powerboats and sailboats led by the Vigilant, Alexandria’s fireboat, will parade down the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., to Alexandria fully decked out in lights and holiday décor.

"Celebrating the holidays by bundling up and coming down docks for the Boat Parade of Lights is a great, must-do holiday tradition," said Stephanie Brown, Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association president and CEO. "Cheering for favorites among the fleet of decorated boats is a great way to get into the holiday spirit. It’s a parade like no other in the area."

Santa Claus will arrive by fireboat to kick off the evening festivities at 4 p.m. at the Alexandria Marina (One Cameron Street, Alexandria). Kids and dogs will be able to sit on Santa’s lap and get their picture taken for free. The Braddock Brass Quintet and the Bells of Mount Vernon, a hand bell choir from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will headline the live music entertainment.

WTOP’s Man About Town, Bob Madigan, will be the emcee and celebrity host of the boat parade. Boaters will compete for prizes in categories such as "Best in Show," "Best Thinking Outside the Christmas Box" and "Hardiest Souls."

The parade culminates an entire day of holiday festivities throughout Old Town Alexandria. The Scottish Christmas Walk starts the day with parading Scottie dogs, bagpipers and 100 Scottish clans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fun continues throughout the afternoon: take the kids for ornament decorating at Alexandria Archaeology, from 1 to 4 p.m. and the adults to the tour the lavishly decorated homes of the Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., throughout Old Town.

Continue the celebration throughout the season in Alexandria with holiday tree lightings, candlelight tours, ornament workshops, parades and more. Check out the Alexandria event calendar at and see why HGTV named Alexandria as one of the "Top 10 Christmas Towns."