Update: Based on the inclement weather forecast to hit the Lake Lanier area Saturday night, organizers have moved the parade to the following day, Sunday, December 12, 2021.
This year’s Holiday Boat Light Parade benefits the children of Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes. Set for Saturday, December 11, the event will have two muster locations: one near Buford Dam and the official start at Port Royale Marina. Various viewing spots from the shorelines along the route will provide views of the lighted parade after the sun sets.
“Our goal is to raise at least $10,000 for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes this year,” said Richard Pickering, event organizer. “We’re asking captains to decorate their boats and register online, but we’re also accepting sponsorships and donations. Please be generous.
“This year, it’s all about the youngsters at the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes,” he said. “In addition to being able to provide them with Christmas gifts, we are working to help provide funding for some of the day-to-day expenses for them, from counseling, medical costs and operating costs. Every penny we collect from registrations and donations/sponsorships will be donated 100 percent to this worthwhile organization.”
The Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes serves more than 180 young people in five campuses across the state.
Boats coming from the south end of the lake will gather in front of Buford Dam at 5 p.m. to travel as a group to the main parade start at Port Royale. Boats from the north end will gather at Port Royale between 5:30 and 5:45, before both groups line up to make our way down the lake.
The parade, with marshaling assistance from Hall County Sheriffs’ Office, will begin at 6:15 from Port Royale. It will pass by Old Federal Park Day-Use area at approximately 6:30, before heading past Aqualand Marina at 6:45.
“The route will then take us across the lake to Tidwell Park as another viewing site,” Pickering said. “We will be docking at Margaritaville around 7:45 or 8 p.m. where you can view the boats up close. Come by car or boat to enjoy the festivities.”
This is the fourth year that Pickering in conjunction with Lanier Partners and a host of volunteers have organized the annual lighted boat parade.
To register, make a donation or for more information about the event, visit the group’s Facebook page at 2021 Holiday Boat Light Parade.