(PRESS RELEASE)_(NORTH PALM BEACH, FL) -- Are you getting excited?
On Saturday, December 7th, the 25th Annual Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade (PBHBP) and Toy Drive benefiting Toys for Tots and Little Smiles, presented by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, will bring tens of thousands of people, more than 10,000 toys, dozens of decorated vessels, a fireworks show and holiday cheer to the waterfront from North Palm Beach to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. This impactful event has become a holiday favorite, and it’s also the largest toy collection event for Toys for Tots in the United States. Last year, the event collected 11,273 toys.
Leading the parade this year directly behind the Zambelli Fireworks barge, we are proud to welcome back Grand Marshals Mo & Sally from KOOL 105.5. Also back this year is Santa Claus who will be making an appearance on the last boat of the night sponsored by Little Smiles.
Another exciting change for this year is with our television partner WPBF 25. Similar to last year, WPBF 25 will broadcast the PBHBP LIVE December 7th at 6p.m. on the WPBF 25 News Facebook page, wpbf.com, and in the WPBF 25 News App. What is really exciting is that the multi-camera telecast of the PBHBP will also air on WPBF 25 ABC the following weekend, on Sunday, December 15th at 7:00 p.m. WPBF 25 News anchor Felicia Rodriguez and Alyssa Freeman will co-host the event, along with other WPBF 25 personalities reporting from the parade route. This is the FIRST ever television broadcast of the PBHBP!
There are several viewing locations from North Palm Beach to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. There will be extended fireworks at the North Palm Beach Country Club, Harbourside Place, and a grand finale in Jupiter sponsored by Square Grouper Tiki Bar, U-Tiki, Jetty’s Waterfront Restaurant and Pelican Club.
“This event quickly became my favorite... (and has) evolved tremendously since its inception, from the route, to planning committee, to benefiting charities, to judging, and more." -- MIAPBC Executive Director Alyssa Freeman
25 Years in the Making: Looking Back on PBHBP History
The very first PBHBP was called “Boat Parade of the Palm Beaches.” It was briefly split into two parades and hosted on back-to-back weeks. One was in Downtown West Palm Beach and the other started at Peanut Island and traveled north. This was years before being combined to create what is now the Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade.
We reached out to Tim Oenbrink, former MIAPBC Board President and former PBHBP Committee Member from Merritt Supply to ask about these early days. Tim remembers when the parade was split and only seven boats were signed up a week before the parade was set to take place. “Seven boats is a small parade, but it’s still a parade right?” Tim says. The PBHBP Committee got to work and called everyone they knew to try to put on the best show possible for sponsors and the families who made plans to watch the parade. After countless calls and turning in favors, the team was able to get a total of 17 boats to participate, an impressive feat on such short notice. This year’s show is expected to feature four times as many decorated vessels.
Nearly 20 years ago, the event made another important change. Tim, after hearing that Toys for Tots donations had decreased in the area, brought the idea to the PBHBP Committee to have an “on the water” toy collection event for Toys for Tots. Former PBHBP Committee Chair Amy Tolderlund who worked for Sea Tow Palm Beach at the time and a group of volunteers turned this idea into the largest toy collection event in the United States for Toys for Tots. Since 2017, the toy drive now also benefits Little Smiles.
Get Involved in the Premier Palm Beach County Boating Industry Holiday Event
“If you haven't made this part of your December traditions, this year is the year to start.” -- PBHBP Committee member Caroline Mantel, BoatHistoryReport.com.
Boat entry is free and participants compete for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Boats are judged by local elected officials and community leaders in a variety of categories that are based on size and in a separate category for corporate entries. Every boat is judged based on lights, enthusiasm and themed décor. The public can even get in on judging now with the Fan Favorite award! Once photos of each boat in the parade are posted to the PBHBP Facebook page, the photo with the most likes wins an extra $500. The week following the parade there will be an awards celebration held at the new Farmer’s Table restaurant at the North Palm Beach Country Club. One person from each registered boat must attend the Captain’s Meeting on December 3 at 6 p.m. at the Palm Beach Singer Island Marriott Resort & Spa. There will be no entries accepted after this date.
To donate a toy the night of the event, simply wave a flashlight from a dock and a volunteer from Sea Tow, TowBoat U.S., or another volunteer vessel will approach for pickup if safe to do so. Toy collection boxes have also been distributed throughout the community at various businesses and government buildings. A complete list can be found at https://www.marinepbc.org/boat-parade.
This year’s parade is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Sponsors include the Town of Jupiter, Harbourside Place, 1000 North, North Palm Beach Marina, Stock Custom Homes, WPBF, Village of North Palm Beach, Farmer’s Table, Viking Yachts Service Center, iHeart Radio, Hubbard Radio, Coastal Angler Magazine and many others. Join the list!
We can’t wait to bring you this year’s event! Visit PalmBeachBoatParade.com for more information.
MIAPBC Contact: Alyssa Freeman, (561) 863-0012 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MIAPBC Media Contact: Nicole Squartino (954) 275-6948 or email@example.com
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