Even though the Florida Keys may never experience a traditional white Christmas, the locals here have a passion for celebrating the season in high island style. There are tons of holiday happenings going on but none is more anticipated than the many Lighted Boat Parades that take place throughout the Keys.

The largest and most famous parade of all casts off at 8pm on Saturday, December 15 when Schooner Wharf Bar’s legendary 28th Annual Lighted Boat Parade bedazzles Key West’s Historic Seaport. The festive flotilla includes scores of elaborately decorated deep sea cruisers, tall masted schooners, private yachts and even tiny kayaks. Long hours go into crafting the inventive designs and stringing garlands and lights from bow to stern.

And for good reason. With $25,000 in prizes, the lavishly decorated and musical boats inspire creative seafarers to reach their artistic peaks. Oh, and get this: You don’t need your own boat to be part of the parade action. Just hop onboard Key West’s fastest, most elegant Schooner, America 2.0, where you can cozy up with a glass of champagne and take in this magical display of holiday spirit.

Docked right behind Schooner Wharf Bar, America 2.0 will also be decorated in full holiday regalia and will join the parade of vessels gliding by the Judges Stand at Schooner Wharf dock. You can reserve your spot at 305-293-7245 or click on sail-keywest.com.

Pre-Parade festivities kick off at 6pm and Schooner Wharf Bar will be serving up a special holiday ham dinner as well as traditional holiday libations like Swedish glogg, hot apple jack and eggnog. There will also be terrific live music throughout the night. Want to know more? Call 305-292-3302 or go to schooner wharf.com.

What’s your favorite holiday event in the Keys?