Christmas on the Water Boat Parade happening Saturday in Biloxi

It’s almost time for the Christmas on the Water Boat Parade in Biloxi.

Boat owners are ready to light up the Mississippi Sound for this year’s Christmas on the Water. In Biloxi, at the Schooner Pier, you’ll see plenty of vessels dressed up in their best Christmas attire.  Organizer Rusty David said, “Years ago, there was nothing going on in December. So, us boat owners needed to use our boats in December and have an opportunity to bring the family together and Christmas fell right in the middle of it.”

Rusty David organized the first boat parade 36 years ago. It always sets sail the first weekend in December. “We haven’t missed a year. Some years were a little trying, but we’ve done it. The boat owners do it. I have some that have participated for 30 years.”

The boats still paraded the winter following Katrina, a time when David believed the community needed some Christmas spirit. “In ’04, before the storm, we had 86 boats and started at the Old Broadwater Marina and came this way. In 2005, we only had eight boats, but we did it.”

Now over 30 boats ride in the parade. “When you’ve been doing something for this long, people look forward to it. My phone has been ringing off the wall this week from people from Caracas, Mississippi and as far away as Maryland coming down.”

Last year, the parade claimed the title of second largest attraction for the month of December in the state. “Anywhere from the Biloxi Lighthouse all the way down to the Golden Nugget. My favorite spot is the Small Crafts Harbor and Harrah on the beach. I’m a beach person, bring some chairs, do a bonfire, come on out and enjoy it.”

Don’t forget to stay after the parade for the fireworks.

The boats will parade down the Biloxi Channel tomorrow at 6. Of course, don’t forget the Children’s Christmas on the Water walking parade is tonight.

The parade rolls at 6, starting at the community center on Howard Avenue and ending at the town green on Highway 90.

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