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July 4th Boat Parade

Celebrate July 4th with Friends of the Riverwalk as we host our inaugural July 4th Boat Parade and Blessing of the Fleet.  The parade route will be similar to our holiday light boat parade but will include three blessing stations.  The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began years ago but is still practiced in many fishing and boating communities around the world to ensure a safe and bountiful season.  Boats will be decorated in colorful flags and compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the small/motorboat and large/sailboat competitions.  We will also provide a prize for the most patriotic boat.  The boat parade will be followed by fireworks displays at multiple locations.     

Sponsorships for the July 4th Boat Parade are available

The Friends of the Riverwalk July 4th Boat Parade is soon to be Tampa’s favorite summer event on the water! 2021 will be our inaugural July 4th Boat Parade but we are certain it will be a success based on our history of Tampa boat parades.  Multiple sponsorship levels are available to accommodate any size budget and provide a variety of benefits including sponsor recognition on the event website, print advertisements, collateral, event signage, social media, and parade announcements. VIP access opportunities are an additional benefit of sponsorship. Your sponsorship investment will directly align your company with one of Tampa’s most popular summertime events. Customized sponsorship packages are available. 

Please contact for sponsorship information

Parade Route & Viewing Locations

The parade begins in the Convention Center basin, travels to the Heights, and ends at Sparkman Wharf.  Public viewing locations include: 

  • Armature Works
  • Channel Drive
  • Convention Center
  • Curtis Hixon
  • Davis Island
  • Harbour Island
  • Sparkman Wharf
  • Water Works Park


Blessing of the Fleet Locations

The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. The practice began predominantly Catholic but is now practiced by all denominations as a blessing from the local clergy that is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.  Each boat will be festively decorated in hopes of bringing home a prize.  There will be three locations for boats to receive a blessing.

  • Convention Center
  • Sparkman Wharf
  • Water Works Park