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”

DIY – Holiday Fun – Ornaments

Winterfest is looking online for fun and creative festive fun for the whole family! From recipes to decorations, Winterfest is working on a few easy links to make this year “together” memorable. Keep visiting this page as we expand on how to get creative this holiday season.

HOMEMADE ORNAMENTS: Want to create a memory for your tree? Meet Winterfest’s Workshop Wizard – 7-year-old James T. (J.T.) Floyd – the star of our “How To Ornament Videos. ” He will show us how to make Boat, Gnome, and Snowflake Ornaments.

Visit a Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby, or other location to pick up the following items and print out or re-create the easy templates on this page.

DIY Gnome Ornament in the Winterfest Workshop – Thank you to The Media Lab
DIY Boat Ornament in the Winterfest Workshop – Thank you to The Media Lab
DIY Snowflake Ornament in the Winterfest Workshop – Thank you to The Media Lab

OTHER CRAFT IDEAS (cookie links at the end of this post) :

DIY Ornament Video Ideas from Hobby Lobby:


Sailboat Ornament:

Country Crafts (75 Ornament ideas):

Salt Dough Ornaments:

50 Coastal Holiday Decorating Ideas:

Not in the Mood to Look for Items to Make Ornaments? Amazon has kits to make that memory:

Gingerbread men cookies

What are the holidays without tasty treats from the Kitchen?


Linzer Cookies – Peppermint Melt-Away Cookies – Chocolate Truffle Bars recipes from Publix Aprons:

Santa’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gingerbread People

Sugar Cookies

Hannukkah Desserts (cookies and cakes) :

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:

Winterfest® Installs 2020-2021 Board Members

Susan Renneisen, 2019-2021 Chairman of the Winterfest® Board,

 welcomes new Board Members via Zoom Meeting

VIA ZOOM, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – May 18, 2020 – Winterfest®, Inc. recently hosted the installation of their new 2020-2021 board members via a Zoom Meeting. The installation and welcome of the board and advisory members was followed by an announcement from Winterfest® Chair, Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs and Special Events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Chairman-Elect Mark Swenson, Senior Vice President-Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, Inc. – The Garvin Financial Team, naming parade participant and board member Britt Lanier, Franchise Owner, Two Men and a Truck, as 2021 Boat Parade Chair.

“I am pleased to announce our 2020-2021 board members, who collectively represent the top leaders and talent from within our business community.  This year presents a unique opportunity for us and through the collaborative efforts of our board and business partners we will produce a parade that will lift spirits and bring an element of joy to our South Florida families and beyond,” said Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs and Special Events, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Winterfest® Chair.

“The 2020-2021 Winterfest® Board has a fresh new direction,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, Winterfest® President & CEO. “It is exciting to develop a celebration at the end of the year that our community will be looking forward to seeing in a variety of ways. We are always striving to bring the best and safest event to this area.”

 The Winterfest® board of directors is composed of 50 community leaders who are ambassadors for this signature South Florida event.

 New Board Members:

  • Amanda Cifu Burke – Florida Panthers
  • John Dunnuck – Broward College
  • James Harrison – Frank and Jimmie’s Propeller
  • Michael Johnson – Clearpath Alerts
  • Kristene Lundblad-Tokesky – Lank Oil Company
  • Steve Nudelberg – On the Ball
  • Gary Press – Lifestyle Magazine
  • Stacy Ritter – Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Ed Strobel – Sunshine Solar Services

New Advisory Members:

  • Isaac Benharoche – Light Up The Night
  • Eli Goldshtein – Light Up The Night
  • Jay Marhefka – Crown Wine and Spirits
  • John Moorman – Carroll’s Jewelers
  • Kim Nguyen – Harbor Nails & Hair
  • Duree Ross – Duree & Company
  • Chaz Warrington – DEX Imaging

To view the board/advisory members:

 For more information, photos of new board/advisory members and a complete list of Winterfest® Board and Advisory Members, visit or call 954-767-0686.

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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 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” Approximately one million spectators view the Parade on the 12-mile route along 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 their website:

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This world-renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion on Oct. 24, 2019.  New offerings include 638 upscale guestrooms in the first-ever Guitar Hotel, 168 luxury guestrooms and unique swim-up suites in the adjacent Oasis Tower at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, and 465 newly redesigned guestrooms in Hard Rock Hotel for a combined room count of 1,271 throughout the resort. Additional  amenities include the lush, “Bora Bora” style lagoon with private cabanas and butler service; a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa® & Salon; a 13.5-acre recreational water experience for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding; 19 dining outlets and 20 bars and lounges; an expansive gaming floor with 3,100 slots, 195 table games and a 45-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space including a 38,000 square-foot, carpeted exhibition hall; and The Shoppes at The Guitar Hotel, a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade. The highly anticipated Hard Rock Live entertainment venue with a 7,000-person capacity, will showcase A-list entertainers, comedy acts, Broadway performances, sporting events and live broadcast productions. The integrated resort is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood SeminoleReservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441), and is 10 minutes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Miami and Miami International Airport. For more information, visit us online at, call 800-937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly

Join Boaters’ Zoom Gatherings

Fill out the form to receive an invitation to the next ZOOM Gathering for Boaters and Winterfest Friends.

Please fill out the form below to request an invitation.
On May 6th at 5 pm, grab your favorite cocktail and join the conversation.
Don’t have Zoom? This post has links at the bottom.

Please consider supporting the restaurants that have hosted Winterfest Happy Hours, such as:

The Historic Downtowner
Picture of a Downtowner Ad

Check out their specials on social media such as $5 Burger Tuesdays

Bokamper’s Fort Lauderdale
Picture of a Bokamper's ad

Daily specials such as Family Meal Deals starting at $35.99.

Riverside Hotel’s Restaurants
Picture of a Riverside Hotel's Restaurants ad

$9 Margarita Pizza

Don’t have Zoom? Please see instructions to download below:

Zoom SignIn for your Computer:

Download the Zoom Cloud Meetings App on Your Smartphone
Search “Zoom Cloud Meetings” in your app store.

How to Download the Zoom App on Your Computer

Hello Winterfest Boating Family

photo of Mark Swenson
Chairman Mark Swenson

I first wanted to start by saying I hope everyone is staying safe, hunkering down, and keeping a positive attitude during this extraordinary start to 2020.  This virus has impacted and disrupted everyone’s way of life one way or another, and we all look forward to putting this behind us in the near future.

As many of you know, Winterfest is much more than a single day event.  The overall experience of participating in the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade opens you up to some of the nicest, most entertaining, people we have here in South Florida.  From the events leading up to the Parade in December, to the ongoing Winterfest happy hours, the parade experience for everyone is second to none.

Currently, we have had to postpone a few of our events and in-person meetings for April and May. We will continue to assess the situation for June and July. However, the Winterfest staff and volunteers are doing everything we can to continually enhance the Winterfest experience for everyone…albeit in remote fashion from our kitchen tables!  We are updating our website with new content, reformatting it to make it easier for boaters to find information such as decorating ideas for this year’s theme (Masquerade on Parade…Dance and Song All Night Long), updating the Parade Manual, starting the permit process with City officials, and preparing our happy hours and events that lead up to our December 12th spectacle.  

I have been impressed to see all the various acts of kindness during this period, and have no doubt our community will be stronger than ever and will rally around our annual South Florida tradition…the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade!  This year’s event will be extra special given what everyone has gone through, and continuing to go through, here in South Florida. I appreciate more than ever the comradery of our Parade and the way it brings us all together.  In the meantime please stay safe, stay at home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. The Winterfest staff values your support and encourages you to reach out during this time with any questions, ideas, and/or social media links to share with our Winterfest followers. We are only a phone call, zoom meeting, or email away and we would love to hear from you!  

I look forward to connecting with everyone again very soon!


Mark Swenson
Boat Parade Chairman
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade


Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade December 12, 2020

Message From The President & CEO

As our communities in Broward County and around the world follow the recommendations to postpone group events, Winterfest, Inc. would like to minimize any conflicts when choosing rescheduled event dates. That said, we encourage local community leaders and organizers to collaborate and share their proposed calendars.

Let’s work together to help those who have had to postpone or cancel their events transition into this community’s social calendar with minimal event date conflicts. It is for this reason that Winterfest event dates are on our website and social media and it is our hope that all organizers would share their proposed dates early to help with rescheduling.

We will get past this, and once these safety measures are lifted, please post your event details on social media and ask Winterfest to share.

Our hearts go out to our entire community, to all the businesses, organizations and individuals impacted. We are in this together as a community, making hard choices while being ready to quickly bounce back into the social scene that makes South Florida such a wonderful place to live, work and play. 

Important Dates 

The Winterfest White Party
Friday, November 6, 2020

Family Fun Day
Sunday, November 22, 2020

Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Black Tie Ball
Saturday, December 5, 2020

Grand Marshal Reception
Friday, December 11, 2020

The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
‘Masquerade on Parade’ Dance and Song – All Night Long
Saturday, December 12, 2020

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


Happy Birthday #WinterfestFL 2016 Poster Artist Charles Fazzino

A reflection of the artist’s past and a nod to the future

Happy Birthday Charles Fazzino! On your birthday (12/26) we take a moment to reflect on your creativity for the Parade’s 45th Anniversary, Fort Lauderdale’s Centennial and look forward to seeing your creativity for Winterfest’s 50th Anniversary in 2021.

Watch the Parade

You can see the parade two ways, on the web and on television.

Watch the WSVN Channel 7 Winterfest Television Special

  • Saturday, December 21st, 7 pm
  • Christmas Day (Wednesday, 25th) at 5 am and 12 noon
  • New Year’s Day at 5 am and 12 noon
  • Christmas Day (Wednesday, 25th) at 7 am and 9 pm
  • Thursday, December 26th, 1 pm
  • Saturday, December 28th, 3 pm
  • Tuesday, December 31, 3 pm
  • New Year’s Day (January 1st), 10 pm
  • Thursday, January 2nd, 8 am
  • Friday, January 3rd, 3 pm
  • Saturday, January 4th, 10 am
  • Monday, January 6th, 10 pm
BOSTON Broadcast
  • WHDH Saturday, December 28th, 3 pm
  • WLVI Sunday, December 29th, 5 pm

Watch the Parade on the Web

Visit Eye on South Florida (this link will take you directly to their website).