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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 two 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.     

This form stopped accepting submissions on July 4, 2021 2:00 pm EDT.

2021 July 4th Boat Parade Winners

Small/Motor Boat Competition

1ST - CHERYL STREICH, #11
2ND - JIMMY FALCON, #1
3RD - RAUL AGUILERA, #3

Large/Sail Boat Competition

1ST - JAMES BARLOW, SANDY01 #52
2ND - MONICA STODDARD, ESPERANZA #51

Most Patriotic Boat Competition

CHERYL STREICH, #11
 



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 two locations for boats to receive a blessing.  Boats simply need to drive by the station to receive their blessing.

  • Sparkman Wharf
  • Water Works Park

Boating Advisory for All Locations 

  • No mooring at Water Works Park and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park docks from 11am - 10pm
  • No mooring at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park docks on July 3rd or 4th
  • No Boating Access between Boulevard Bridge and Kennedy Bridge from 7pm – 10pm
  • Be cautious of firework fallout. Boats must always remain outside of designated safety zones.
  • Best viewing areas for boats/vessels are in the vicinities of the open water displays at the Tampa Convention Center, the Ybor Turning Basin, and North Bayshore Boulevard. See map for shooting locations.

Tampa Convention Center Docks Advisory

  • Best viewing areas for boats/vessels are in the vicinities of the Tampa Convention Center, Ybor Turning Basin, or Bayshore. See map for fireworks shoot locations.
  • No vessel movement allowed between 7:30pm until 30 minutes after the last fireworks launch. Wait for the all-clear to move issued by the dock master.
  • No vessel movement allowed during any rain delay period.
  • Expect heavy smoke and possibly damaging fireworks fallout.
  • Boats must always remain outside of designated safety zones.
  • Do not exceed posted vessel occupant capacity.
  • Obey all boating laws and obey all marina rules.
  • No mooring at Water Works or Curtis Hixon docks from 11am – 10pm
  • No mooring at Riverfront Park Docks on July 3rd or 4th
  • No Boating Access between Boulevard Bridge and Kennedy Bridge from 7pm – 10pm

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 info@thetampariverwalk.com for sponsorship information


2021 Sponsors

Thank you to our event sponsors.  Without their support, the July 4th Boat Parade & Blessing of the Fleet would not be possible.

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