Winterfest 50th Anniversary Shout Out on Boat Boss

Thank you, Kim Sweers, for welcoming me to the helm of Boat Boss. Great platform to promote the 50th-anniversary celebration of Winterfest. Be a part of all the events leading up to the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on 12.11.21.

Kim Sweers and Lisa Scott-Founds on Boat Boss

Winterfest Is A Winner at the 2021 SunSational Awards

Florida Festivals & Events 2021 SunSational Award Winner logo

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 25, 2021) – The Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA) recently
announced the winners of its annual SUNsational Awards during their 27th annual convention and
tradeshow. The Program recognizes members’ innovation, individuality and creative collaboration.

Nominations were accepted in ten categories, including Printed Materials; Outdoor Advertisement; PR / Media Campaign; Photo; Promotional Item; T-shirt; Broadcast Media; Multimedia Marketing; Adapted and Virtual Events and Programming. Each category included three budget levels. A total of 170 events submitted their materials for consideration. 

Winterfest, Inc. was recognized for their promotions and campaigns during 2020 for the following:

First Place: 
Virtual Vacation with Santa – Social Media Ad Campaign with Visit Lauderdale
Home for the Holidays Promotional Item (ornament created by Pat Anderson)

Second Place:
Brochure (designed by S.Mark Graphics)
Twitter Campaign
2020 Annual Report

Third Place:
Radio PSA for their contests (with EyeOnSouthFlorida)

For a complete list of winners, visit

Nominations were judged by a blue ribbon panel representing media outlets, printing companies, website designers, photographers, promotional marketing professionals and social media experts.

“The SUNsational Awards have recognized and celebrated the talents of our members for more than two decades,” said Suzanne Neve, CEO of the FFEA.  “We’re proud of our members and their events – and excited to recognize them in this way each year. This year in particular was incredibly rewarding as we showcased the innovation and resilience of festival and event organizers throughout the state during this unprecedented time.”

About the Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA)Celebrating 27 years, FFEA is a not-for-profit association dedicated to supporting and promoting more than 5,500 festivals, events, and fairs in the state of Florida through education, networking and dissemination of information and the cultivation of high standards. For more information about FFEA, visit

Have You Met… September 2021

Winterfest is proud to highlight a few of the people that are behind the scenes of the “Best Show on H20”

Meet Our Boaters


Messingschlager Family
37 Years in the Parade

Mr. Bobb
Mr. Bobb

Mark Family 2018

A fan favorite, Mr. Bobb has been in the Parade since 1985. Mr. Bobb, a 60-foot Hatteras Sport fisherman, is owned by the Messingschlager Family and is always an award-winner and “People’s Choice Award” favorite with Parade fans.

The lighting and decorations are all done by son Mark. Every year, this entry hosts children, grandchildren and approximately 35 friends.    

Mr. Bobb is an anticipated entry – a Parade tradition. If you think this boat is spectacular, you should see their house which was featured as a contestant on ABC’s National Light Fight.


Captain Maurice Andrews
11 Years in the Parade

Meet Maurice Andrews (Captain Black Sparrow) – Bluefoot Pirate Adventures

Maurice is a boat captain and commercial diver who takes on the persona of Captain Black Sparrow onboard Bluefoot Pirate Adventures. Prior to becoming a “pirate,” Maurice captained research vessels for Florida Atlantic University and worked on underwater fiber optic cable installation in places such as Brazil, Panama, Chile and Peru. His love of boating started after his time in the United States Army when he was a captain on the US Navy Base on Andros Island. 

When Maurice isn’t telling pirate tales to children on his ship, he enjoys underwater video and photography. 

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures has been a part of the Parade since their inception in 2011. The crew bring swashbuckling fun to Winterfest. Bluefoot Pirate Adventures is ranked as one of South Florida’s top-rated boating attractions for the entire family. They host daily pirate treasure hunts along Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway filled with action, adventure, and just a touch of magic! 


First Time In Parade

Meet Amy McGill with the Ice Cream Float Pompano. She is a first-time entry to the Parade. This cute little boat brings ice cream conveniently to boaters throughout the waterways of Pompano Beach. The idea for this business began when Amy and a friend were boating on a hot Florida day and wishing they had a cold treat. Now all boaters can benefit from their confectionery desires and wave them over when you see them passing by. They will also stop by your dock, come to your dockside BBQ, or bring ice cream to your birthday party.

This summer the Ice Cream Float Pompano brought all of those ice cream truck favorites to the water, and they also added some locally made Florida products such as scoops of “Mermaid Bubbles” and “Bait Bucket” ice cream and Key Lime Pie bars dipped in chocolate. Are you a fan? Follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Wonder what they will be serving their guests Parade night?

Meet Our Board Members



Rob Kornahrens’ humble business beginning started in 1983 when he borrowed $15,000 from his father to start his own business. From the purchase of a pick-up truck, the seeds of Rob’s roofing entrepreneurship were born. His focus on customer service in the commercial reroofing business is the foundation of his company’s steady growth for the last 35 years.  Today, Advanced Roofing has been in the top 10 Commercial Roofing Contractors in the United States and #1 in Florida, with seven branches throughout the State, which employs approximately 500 people. 

In 2007, Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) became a solar distributor for a thin film solar panel. Rob also started a solar contracting business to support AGT. Fourteen years later, AGT is the top commercial rooftop solar contractor in the State of Florida and recently completed two 2 Mega Watt Solar carports at Lockheed Martin (approximately 600 cars).  

As a boating enthusiast, Rob enters the Parade every year with a “wow” entry showcasing his creative adaptivity to the Parade’s theme. It was his actions during his early years in the Parade (spinning his boat in front of the judges to give them a 360-degree view of his decorations) which got him involved with the board.

Twenty-five years later, Rob prides himself as an award-winning parade participant, past chairman of the board, and a member of various Winterfest committees. You will see Rob at all the Winterfest celebrations every year leading up to the Parade.


Gregg Snowden Headshot

Gregg Snowden is a highly passionate VP/Account Director for GTB, one of Ford’s global marketing agencies. GTB is part of WPP which is the largest ad agency holding company in the world. Gregg manages the South Florida Ford Dealers account with a thorough knowledge of the client’s business, the consumer, the marketplace and all aspects of advertising and marketing including creative, media, financials, research, and production.

Gregg has over 20 years of marketing and advertising experience, of which 18 years have been completed at nationally recognized ad agencies. His eagerness to stay abreast of marketing trends has kept his clients at the forefront of social, digital, and experiential marketing.

Gregg is also a husband and father of two kids, Nicholas and Gianna. In his spare time, Gregg has a passion for fitness, enjoys golfing, and playing in the pool with his kids.

Gregg is a long-time supporter of Winterfest, an active board member since 2012, and currently serves on the Executive Board.

South Florida Ford is the sponsor of the 2021 Fireworks.


Karla Nelson-Thatcher Headshot

Twelve-time Emmy Award winner, Karla Nelson-Thatcher, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Government and Public Affairs for Hotwire Communications is an accomplished Public and Government Relations strategist, bringing over twenty years of creative and negotiating experience to her work. After getting her start as a television writer and producer, Ms. Nelson-Thatcher migrated to broadcasting where she held several positions as a Creative Services Director, analyzing Market Research and applying it to the development of talent teams, show formatting, and station branding to achieve market position in the wildly competitive world of television overnight ratings.

Her creative career continued as co-founder of K&L Consulting with international clients including an airline, an Island Government, and several not-for-profits in her hometown of South Florida. On the heels of success, Karla was picked by Comcast Cable in the Florida region, where over the course of thirteen years her role evolved from ensuring compliance with municipal franchise agreements to overseeing ad campaigns and the execution of Public, Education and Government programming.

Ms. Nelson-Thatcher developed news conferences for product launches, internal electronic based learning and a heavily viewed local on Demand portal that featured an array of programming, some of which won Emmy awards. Now, as VP of Corporate Communications, Government and Public Affairs at Hotwire Communications, Karla is building the foundation of Hotwire’s community profile and aligning with local CBOs, School Boards, Not for Profits, and Elected Officials.

During Ms. Nelson-Thatcher’s extensive career, she has been a part of Winterfest and recently accepted the position as assistant secretary on the organization’s Executive Board and is chairwoman of the Marketing Committee.


Bill Fienberg Headshot

Bill Feinberg, President of Allied Kitchen and Bath in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been an advisory member of Winterfest since 2013. Bill and his brother, Joe, founded the company in 1984. A self-made man with his roots in Philadelphia, Bill had a vision for the design and remodeling business. He successfully brought that vision to South Florida and has been reshaping the community for the last 35 years.  A man who lives by the motto “Pay it Forward,” Bill has hosted more than 100 charity events in the Allied showrooms with 100% of all funds raised going directly to the charity, often raising between $10,000-20,000 in just a few hours.

Bill is involved many with trade organizations for the Kitchen and Bath Industry and has served on numerous committees and Boards within the BKBG and the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association) organizations. He recently served as the 2020 Chair of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.

Along with the Winterfest Advisory Board and the organization’s Marketing Committee. Bill currently serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity and is the immediate past Chair, The Fort Lauderdale Chamberof Commerce. He is also involved with the US Army Advisory Council of Broward County, The Economic Advisory Council of Broward County (which works closely with The Federal Reserve Board), and is the past President of The South Florida Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Oakland Park Wilton Manors Chamber.

Charles Fazzino Selected To Be 50th Anniversary Artist

Internationally Renowned 3-D Pop Artist Charles Fazzino Selected to Create the Official Artwork for the 50th Anniversary of Winterfest

Charles Fazzino’s 2021 Poster to Capture “50 Years of Hard Rockin’ Fun … Winterfest 2021”

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – August 18, 2021 – Winterfest is pleased to announce that internationally renowned 3-D Pop Artist, Charles Fazzino, has been selected as the official artist of the 50th Anniversary of Winterfest, “50 Years of Hard Rockin’ Fun … Winterfest 2021.” The unveiling will take place during the “Winterfest White Hot Launch Party” on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Fazzino will unveil the poster at Wentworth Gallery at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on Thursday, Nov. 18. The public is invited to the opening and will have the opportunity to mingle with celebrities such as Miami Dolphins player Emmanuel Ogbah.

“Winterfest has been one of my favorite events for decades,” said Fazzino. I used to spend my winters in Florida at all the art festivals and watched Winterfest as it was just getting started. I am honored to once again be painting the official poster for the 50th anniversary, and I hope that my work accurately captures the spectacle and the celebration.”

Parade producers will create some fun glimpses of the poster artwork around Fort Lauderdale and on social media. This is the third Winterfest poster designed by the acclaimed 3-D artist.

Charles Fazzino is well known for his extravagant and vivid 3-D New York City scenes. Some of his most recent commissioned artwork includes poster art for the Olympics, NFL Super Bowl, and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

“We are honored to have an internationally recognized artist to create our poster for our milestone anniversary,” said Lisa Scott Founds, President and CEO of Winterfest Inc. “Fazzino’s use of vibrant colors and celebratory images truly reflect the vision for this year’s parade.”

The highly anticipated signature event of the holidays, Winterfest, is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. Fazzino is expected to view the parade along the staging area in downtown Fort Lauderdale. This year’s Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade will sparkle with iconic rock images, music, and décor in celebration of the 50th anniversary. The dazzling event will close out the year with floating stages of entertainment, beauty queens, celebrities, and starry-eyed spectators of all ages.

For more information, to enter your boat in the parade, become a sponsor or to get involved, call 954-767-0686, or visit

About Charles Fazzino 

Charles Fazzino — one of the most popular artists in the world—is an officially licensed artist of the NFL and twenty Super Bowls.  He is also an officially licensed artist of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game to be played on July 13, 2019 at Coors Field in Denver, CO, his 16th for Major League Baseball.He has also created official artwork for high profile events and installations, including: the Olympic Games, GRAMMY Awards, JFK International Airport, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, CMA Awards, Belmont Stakes, Daytona 500, Indy 500, K-Pop Museum in Seoul, Korea, and the President William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation, among many others. Charles Fazzino recently was commissioned by NBC Sports to create commemorative artwork for Sunday Night Football to celebrate its record of being 7 years of Primetime Television’s #1 Show.  See the entire collection at

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship integrated resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion in 2019, highlighting the debut of the world’s first and only Guitar Hotel. Between three hotel towers, the resort boasts 1,271 luxury guestrooms. Amenities include a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa® & Salon; a 13.5-acre recreational water experience for watersports; private “Bora Bora” style cabanas; more than 15 food and beverage outlets; an expansive gaming floor with 3,000 slots, 193 table games and a 45-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space; and a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade. Hard Rock Live, the resort’s entertainment venue, showcases A-list entertainers and performers, sporting events and live broadcast productions in an intimate 7,000-person capacity setting. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood Seminole Reservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441). For more information, visit us online at, call 800-937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly.

About Winterfest, Inc celebrating 50 years 1971-2021

Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” On a typical year, spectators view the Parade along the 12-mile route with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida.  Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or website:

For More Information:

Kathy Keleher, Marketing and Parade Director, Winterfest, Inc.               

(954) 767-0686

Facebook: winterfest.parade

Instagram: WinterfestInc



Outdoor Parade Viewing Area

Prime Parade Viewing Area at Las Olas Intracoastal Park

Get Your Tickets Today for Winterfest’s NEW VIEWING LOCATION where Las Olas Boulevard meets the Intracoastal Waterway. Your ticket lets you experience a wonderful afternoon and evening of festival activities, interactive games, continuous stage entertainment, vendors, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Stanley from the Florida Panthers, and other mascots before the main event – the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. This new viewing location brings the Parade earlier to our guests (around 7 pm) and allows organizers to continue the fun with a concert following our Santa show float.


  • Conveniently located  adjacent to public parking, rideshare drop-offs, and shuttle services from local hotels. CLICK HERE for a list of Winterfest Weekend specials from our hotel partners
  • Continuous entertainment on the City of Fort Lauderdale’s stage. After the Parade passes, area transforms into a concert with the Shane Duncan Band
  • Hungry? Thirsty? Don’t worry, we have you covered! Stella Artois Culinary Corner will have a variety of festival foods, featuring beverages from Stephen’s Distributing as well as Coca-Cola and LaCroix products.
  • Photo opportunities with the jolly man himself – Santa before he rides in the Parade
  • Parade Commentary provided by iHeart personality
  • Download the Winterfest App for updates and opportunities to vote for your favorite boat. (link to app)
  • CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO of past viewing area footage by WSVN Channel 7 to get an idea of all the excitement

TICKETS ARE ONLY $25 for ADULT / $15 for CHILD – click here to order (or we might embed the link)

Additional Tips CLICK HERE.

Shane Duncan Band after the Parade

Winterfest Installs Executive Officers and 2021 Board of Directors


FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – APRIL 12, 2021 – Winterfest, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Mark A. Swenson, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Advisor at UBS Financial Services – The Garvin Financial Team, as chairman of the board. The 2021-2022 Winterfest Board will be effective Monday, April 12, 2021. The handing over of the gavel from the current chair, Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs & Special Events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to Mr. Swenson. Chair-Elect Bill Walker, Principal, CEO of Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale LLC, Boat Parade Chair Britt Lanier, Franchisee Owner of Two Men and a Truck/Fort Lauderdale, Davie, and Boca Raton, and Parade Enhancement Chair James Harrison, owner of Frank and Jimmie’s Prop Shop start their new roles as well. Additional new members include

Executive Officers:

Mark Swenson
Sr. Vice President – Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services

Chair Elect
Bill Walker
Owner, Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale, LLC

Immediate Past Chair
Susan Renneisen
V.P. of Community Affairs & Special Events, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 

Lisa Duke
Chief Financial Officer, Walter Duke + Partners

Assistant Secretary
Karla Nelson-Thatcher
Director of Public Relations, Events, Media, Hotwire Communications

Ken Ortner
Director, Kenneth A Ortner, P.A.

Assistant Treasurer
James Ray
Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank

Robyn Vines
Attorney, Gray Robinson Attorneys at Law

Johnny Williams
Managing Partner, ProMotion Sports & Entertainment, LLC

Lisa Scott-Founds
President & CEO, Winterfest, Inc.

Executive Board:

Robert Kornahrens
President, Advanced Roofing / Advanced Green Technologies

Britt Lanier
Franchise Owner, Two Men and a Truck

Dan Lindblade
President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce

Gregg Snowden
VP, Account Director, GTB, South Florida Ford

Bob Swindell
Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, President and CEO

New Board Members:

Melanie Dickinson
South Florida Business Journal, President & Publisher

Seth Rand
Wizard Digital, Co-Founder & CEO

Shane Strum
Broward Health, Chief Executive Officer

New Advisory Members:

Erick Eldridge
Vice President of Operations, Light Up The Night

Luis Jimenjez
Principal (Owner), Suncoast Elevator Company, Inc.

Lt. Raymond C. Milne IV
Commanding Officer of Station Ft. Lauderdale, United States Coast Guard

L. Katerina Perez
Partner Relations & Development, Florida Panthers, Vice President

(complete list of Winterfest Board and Advisory Members with photos can be found by clicking here)

“We are pleased to welcome Mark, Bill, Britt, and James to their new roles along with our new executive, board, and members,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO. “Their new positions are an integral part of Winterfest during the Parade’s 50th Anniversary Celebration this year. The 2021 Board, Parade, and Enhancement Chairs are all boaters. They are focused on bringing our signature event, the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade to the next level. This is an exciting time with plans in the final stages for this memorable year. We look forward to showcasing the Parade enhancements of this community event with a global audience.” 

Meet Mark A. Swenson

photo of Mark Swenson
Mark Swenson

Mark has been involved with Winterfest since 2008 as a volunteer dock walker Parade night. He has been on the Board of Directors since 2010 and transitioned to Parade Chair in 2015.

A native of Minnesota, Mark grew up on Lake Minnetonka (about 30 miles from Minneapolis). An avid boater, Mark has been behind a wheel his entire life and spent his high school summers captaining charter boat cruises and jet skiing. Along with his passion for the water, Mark competitively played basketball and tennis in high school and college. He continues to play basketball recreationally weekly with friends and colleagues. Aftergraduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Economics, Mark moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2002 and started his career with UBS, The Financial Services, in 2007. He met his wife, Christine, at work, married in 2013, and lives in Lauderdale Harbors. Along with their beautiful three-year-old daughter, Annika, the family enjoys frequent trips on their boat to the Florida Keys and Bahamas as well as backcountry mountain snowmobiling in Wyoming. 

“Winterfest is the best example of fun and camaraderie our community has on the water and brings families together in a way no other event can here in South Florida. Whether you are a boater, waterway enthusiast, or shoreline spectator; this event has something for everyone. I was hooked the first night that I volunteered, and I am looking forward to leading this board on a path to create the best celebration of the Parade’s golden anniversary. “

Meet Bill Walker

Board Member Bill Walker
Bill Walker

Bill has been an active board member since 2016 and a Parade participant since 2007. Bill started his career on the waterways of Boston and has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He has a proven track record leading successful ventures in business, the marine industry, and public service. These ventures have led to the purchasing of high and low-speed passenger vessel service. This 150-employee business, focused on guest services and excellent marine practices, has a proven track record of safety and reliability. These experiences transporting guests for public services, and private ventures, along with marketing have made Water Taxi recognizable by both tourists and residents. Along with Winterfest, Bill is active as a board member on the Marine Advisory of Fort Lauderdale, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Birch State Park, Las Olas Association, Riverwalk, and is a member of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida, and Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center.

“Winterfest is the annual event that brings the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County family and friends together. The year after year presentation of the ‘Best Show on H2O’ is a tradition that is experienced locally and seen inter-nationally. While the Parade brings tons of fun, Winterfest and its foundation bring year-round events and contributions to the area.”

Meet Britt Lanier

Britt Lanier
Britt Lanier

Britt has been a Parade Participant in Winterfest since 2001, which led to his becoming a member of the Boat Parade Committee. In 2017, Britt was invited to the Winterfest Advisory Committee and took on the position of Parade Enhancement Chair. In 2019, he became a board member while continuing as Parade Enhancement Chair and serving on additional committees furthering the future vision of Winterfest. Since opening his first Two Men and a Truck® franchise in South Florida in 1999, he has expanded that one office into four offices in Broward and Palm Beach. Britt is active on the board of Riverwalk and involved with charities such as Forever Family, Riverwalk Trust, Women in Distress, AVDA, Harvest Drive, Kids in Distress, United Way, American Cancer Society, as well as entering approximately 10 holiday parades annually. Britt is happiest on the water with his wife and two daughters. The oldest of which will be following in his footsteps to FSU after graduating from high school this year.

“One of the first things that attracted me to Two Men and a Truck as a company was their commitment to giving back to local communities. Winterfest may be the ‘best show on H2O’ but their dedication to the Greater Fort Lauderdale community, non-profits, and local businesses is at their core and why I love helping in whatever capacity I can. Getting to work with the boats and boaters is the reward.”

Meet Jimmie Harrison

Board Member Jimmie Harrison

Jimmie is a native of Fort Lauderdale and lives in Rio Vista with his wife, Isabelle where they raised their two daughters – Martine, an artist, and Christie, who works in the family business, Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller. He is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale – Graphic Design, University of North Carolina Asheville – Business, and Florida Atlantic University – Marketing. Jimmie’s hobbies include all things boating: Offshore Power Boat racing (4x National Champion). poker runs, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, Bahamas trips as well as playing guitar, going to concerts/live comedy shows, snow skiing, traveling, art, and photography. His first working boat show was at the age of six. He started at the family business in 1973 as a teenager working after school and summers and became the owner in 1992. With Jimmie at the helm, the company has grown into the largest propeller shop in the country. They have opened and are partnered with additional FJ Propeller shops in Miami, Lake of the Ozarks, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Columbia. He is also the founder of Neptune Boat Lifts, a boat lift manufacturing company in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to his involvement with Winterfest, he serves as Vice Chairman of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), Fort Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber’s Economic Advisory Board, and sponsor of the MIASF Waterway Clean-up, the Plywood Regatta, and numerous other community events.

“Growing up here I always knew this was the best place in the world to live, work and play and Winterfest showcases that we truly are the Yachting Capital of the World! I’m very excited and grateful to now be a part of nurturing and growing the Winterfest experience.”

For additional information on the Chairmen of Winterfest, Board/Advisory members, how to get involved as a sponsor, boater, or volunteer, call Winterfest, Inc. at 954-767-0686.


About Winterfest, Inc.

Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” Spectators view the Parade along the 12-mile route with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida.  Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or website: FB: winterfest.parade #WinterfestFL #WF50

Winterfest Brings The Holidays Home!

November 18, 2020

The Organizers of Winterfest, Producers of the Signature Event, The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, brings “Home for the Holidays” with Decorating Contests, Virtual Events, Pop Up Santa Sightings, Holiday Cheer Light Cruises, and More as a countdown to the Annual Holiday Television Special

It was a very difficult decision to pause the “World’s Most Watch Boat Parade” for 2020, but that did not stop the organizers of Winterfest from reinventing this year’s holiday season.  The team may not be able to produce the famous Parade in December; however, they are committed to bringing community cheer with the theme, “Home for the Holidays.”

“This has been a very emotional time for all of us,” noted Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO of Winterfest, Inc. “The Parade is synonymous with the holidays. We had to weigh the safety of everyone onshore as well as the water. The event would create “gatherings” in public and private areas with little or no control regarding social distancing, and mask-wearing. What would those optics look like and how would that be perceived? It was decided by the Winterfest Board of Directors, as well as a few of our major sponsors, that the safety of the community was the main priority. As the area businesses open up, there is a tear that we are not the finale celebration for this difficult year. We may not have live events, but our calendar is full of holiday events and activities for everyone to enjoy.” Winterfest is asking the community to help spread the warm and positive feelings of the holidays by decorating and submitting a photo. Simply visit the upload your images OR upload them on social media using the hashtag: #winterfestdecor on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. We want everyone to show their lights! When you enter on social media, include your social media handle, a brief description, and a shout-out where your amazing decorations are located (business name, for residents – your city, state … No exact location unless you want people to drive by and gawk!) If you decorated it – we want to see it (boats, homes, businesses, interior/exterior parts of your home … holiday tree, room, dock, balcony, porch, etc.)!  Lots of great prizes will be given out including a $500 Bloomers Frosé Basket to the photo with the most votes in select categories. A few over the top entries will receive the “Griswold Award” which will be selected by the president of the Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors®, Jarrod K. Lowe. We even have a contest for the cutest holiday pets! Voters, we didn’t forget about you – Vote starting November 28th and you’ll be entered for a chance to win round trip travel on Southwest Airlines®.

Are you out and about? Enjoy the Holidays with Winterfest aboard Holiday Lights Cruises on a special decorated Water Taxi or download the Winterfest App to see where Santa will be from November 27th to December 24th as he vacations in Fort Lauderdale. Want to getaway? Check out Winterfest’s Social Media and Crown Wine & Spirits locations and enter to win a two-night stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, dinner for (2) two, Southwest Airlines tickets and more. Click on for all the details on how to enter!

Looking to snuggle more on your comfy couch? Winterfest makes Holiday Shopping, baking, DIY ornament crafting easy with a click to our website. Your family can even enjoy Santa in your home virtually.  This year, Storytime with Santa is a Winterfest virtual experience with the first 100 children that are registered receiving a copy of the book Santa will be reading so kids may read along.. The sight will have the link to see Santa read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on December 5th. A list of all the holiday excitement is on the site under “2020 holidays.”

And what would Winterfest be without the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade? On December 19th, 25th and 31st, turn on WSVN Channel 7 to watch a trip down memory lane with a retrospective of 49 years of this holiday tradition. For your holiday needs and wishes, go to

For more information on Winterfest, Inc., call 954-767-0686.

Maintaining Tradition and Spreading Holiday Cheer Winterfest Style

November 2020 – IFEA Magazine

Submitted By Dawn Read Diehl

Direct Link to the Magazine Article:

“As published in the International Festivals & Events Association’s “i.e.: the business of international events” quarterly magazine. The premiere association supporting and enabling festivals and events worldwide. For more information on the IFEA, go to”

Winterfest Cancels 2020 Boat Parade; Leaders Look Forward to 50th Anniversary in 2021

Fort Lauderdale, Florida – August 18, 2020 – The 2020 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade slated for Saturday, Dec. 12, has been canceled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns and the organization’s unwavering commitment to the health and safety of participants and spectators.

Announcement of the cancellation followed a unanimous vote of the Winterfest Board of Directors to forego the 2020 boat parade.  Related Winterfest live events will also be canceled this year.

Organizers of the annual holiday celebration, one of the nation’s most popular community events, are instead focusing on the 50th Anniversary Year Boat Parade event in December of 2021.  The first Winterfest Boat Parade took place in December 1971.

“Our team, partners and community supporters were very hopeful for the traditional holiday boat parade to continue in December,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO of Winterfest, Inc. “This was a very difficult decision, but we are being proactive and socially responsible for the health and safety of our community.  That is our top priority.”

Television Special Still Planned for this December

In addition to the 50th Anniversary events in 2021, organizers will concentrate this year on the annual television special focusing on the Best of the Parade with a “Home for the Holidays” theme.  The 2020 television special produced by WSVN Channel 7 will blend the retrospect and a combination of special surprises as organizers move their attention to the 50th anniversary December 2021

The television special scheduled to air in December will bring the best of the best of decorated boats into the comfort of viewers’ homes. The special will air again on Christmas and New Year’s Day along with additional airings on Fox Sports Sun. The “Home for the Holidays,” message will envelop a three-month campaign of virtual events leading up to the television show, including passive decorating entries of homes, businesses, boats, and docks. “We are bringing a hometown feel of family, friends, and parade partners to this year’s special,” said Lisa Scott-Founds. “Winterfest 2020 is a reflection of our community’s heart and hope.”

Winterfest is developing new simulated experiences with a touch of tradition such as picking this year’s Jr. Captain with the Winterfest Foundation, a Coloring Competition, Cookies with Santa, Video Greetings, Flashbacks of Fan Favorite Entries, and Celebrity Grand marshals along with a few local sightings of the Parade’s beloved mascot “Skippy” and Santa’s Elves.  Winterfest’s annual online auction promises to be one of the largest holiday shopping experiences with over 250 items from jewelry, travel, dinners, and more.

For more information as Winterfest builds with partner opportunities focusing on this year’s television special and the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021, contact the office at 954-767-0686 or


About Winterfest, Inc.

Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” On a typical year, spectators view the Parade along the 12-mile route with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida.  Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or website: