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 info@winterfestparade.com.

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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: www.winterfestparade.com.

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