Friends of the Hillsborough River hosts its big, paddler-friendly boat parade this weekend

The route officially launches at the Lowry Park boat ramp just before sunset.

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click to enlarge The Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade route officially launches at the Lowry Park boat ramp. - Photo via Phil Compton/Facebook
Photo via Phil Compton/Facebook
The Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade route officially launches at the Lowry Park boat ramp.
Next weekend brings a barrage of motorized boats to the waters near downtown Tampa for the city's Lighted Holiday Boat Parade, but on Sunday, Dec, 11 something more serene lands on the shores of the Hillsborough.

About five miles upriver, nonprofit environmental groups Friends of the Hillsborough River and Tampa Bay Sierra Club welcome boats—and especially paddlers—to get in the water, all decorated and shit complete with battery operated lights, for a short trip to Sulphur Springs as part of the “Hillsborough River Holiday Boat Parade.”

The route officially launches at the Lowry Park boat ramp just before sunset, and goes to the Bird Street overpass, then paddles back. Life jackets must be worn at all times, and the deadline for mandatory advanced registration is Saturday, Dec. 10 at 5 p.m.

Heavy rain will force a cancellation, but if it sprinkles, you’ll have plenty of company—some years there have been as many as 200 people. 

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Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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