Boot Key Harbor
"Marathon- the Heart of the Florida Keys"

An On-Line Cruising Guide for the Florida Keys & Cuba
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Christmas In Marathon

oot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade
Gregory Absten, Rick & Lori Sall - Organizers
founded 1997 by Capt Gregory Absten & Capt Sam Nelson

Boot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

A Short History of the BKH Boat Parade (word document)

2004 Awards Ceremony - Greg & Sam


Saturday, December 13th 2014 (18th Annual!)
 click the link at the bottom of this page for previous year's photos-

Sponsored by
Post-Parade awards and Party at Dockside Tropical Cafe, Sombrero Blvd.
Good viewing from:  Lazy Days Restaurant 11th St, Marathon Marina, Panchos Fuel Docks, Burdines Tiki Bar, 20th St Bridge (what's left of it),
Condo's down Sombrero Blvd, Dockside Tropical Cafe (Sombrero Marina), Boatman's Sombrero Resort

2014 Boot Key Harbor Lighted Christmas Boat Parade!


Boat Route Details will be discussed at the Captains meeting prior to the parade, but the general idea is for boats to meet between 5:30-6:00pm just outside the harbor by the 7 mile bridge entrance. We start in at 6pm-6:10pm. If the weather allows we'll circle by the Sunset Grille by the bridge, but otherwise proceed inbound through the channel once called by parade organizer (we'll all have VHF radios), following the USCG lead boat. Most boats can make a turn to the left at Marathon Marina - go down and turn around in front of Lazy Days Restaurant and listen to the crowd cheer (we can do this fine in our 35' boat), then back into the main channel past Panchos and Burdines (larger boats or those uncomfortable making the turn to Lazy Days can just wait for us in the main channel). Proceed east up the harbor past Marathon Marina fuel dock, Panchos, Burdines, and through BKH bridge. Dogleg to the right up to Sister's Creek (but stay in channel), then left around Dog rock in the main channel past the condo's and past Dockside Tropical Cafe (where judges will be), continue on down past the Sombrero Resort docks. We'll determine at the Captain's meeting whether we go all the way down to the Winner Marine basin (now Hurrican Hole) at the end past those condos and turn around, or whether we turn at the edge of Sombrero Marina (depends on both weather and what's down in the basin at the time to give us room). It will probably take us a good 45 minutes or more to get to the east end of the harbor once we start in at 6pm.

This years parde will benefit the following VETERANS groups:  American Legion, VFW, and Marine Corps League.

BOATERS: If you have photos of your boat/crew, and or others in the parade, please send them to my at along with caption of boat name.
I'll post them here on this website.

2014 Parade Judges
  Ken Bell, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 122 Marathon
  Donna Ferenci, USCG Auxilliary Marathon Flotilla
  Tony Granaghan, Manager Marathon Yacht Club

2014 Winning Boats:
BEST OVERALL BOAT:    MV Spearendipity.  25' Powerboat. Larry Morris
BEST 17' and Under:            Dinghy Caveman.    14' Powerboat. Carl Spavoli
BEST 18-29':                        1st Place:    MV Pirate Queen.    21' Powerboat. Rick & Lori Sall
                                             2nd Place:    MV Sex-Sea Sue.   18' Powerboat. Sue Lovley
BEST 30' and Over:              1st Place:     MV Rigby Runner.   30' Powerboat. Mark Kyriacou, Bill Alch
                                             2nd Place:    MV Stowaway.       44' Powerboat. Gregory & Lisa Absten

Kudo's to ALL the boats participating in the parade:
MV Agua Azul                40' Powerboat        Marc & Melissa Sheridan
SV Cambryation             35' Sailboat             Dawn & Bill Woodburn
MV Mermaid                  54' Powerboat        Bill & Geri Weir
SV Another Adventure    44' Sailboat            Holly Freeman
MV Vicious Cycle           34' Powerboat        Paul Lebo


PARADE SPONSORS - Donated more than $4000 to benefit the local Veterans groups!!!   Thank You to all of you who made this possible

2014 Major Contributors:
The Art Studio    -    Lady Days South Restaurant    -    The Weekly Newspaper    -    Burdines Waterfront, Chiki Tiki Bar & Grille    -    DOCKSIDE Tropical Cafe    -   
Royal Furniture, Marathon    -    Island Breeze Realty    -    Wooden Spoon Restaurant    -    Holiday Inn Express & Suites    -    Marathon Electric Sign and Light
D'Asign Source    -    Tilden's Scuba Center    -    Gemini Printing Operations    -    Shoreline Inflatable Boats & Outboard Repairs
2014 Additional Contributors:
Franks Grill - The Turtle Hospital - Fl Keys Steak & Lobster - Spirit Catamarans - Stuffed Pig - Caton Aluminium & Glass - Beckman NAPA - Keys Fisheries - Specialty Hardware -
Artic Temp - Marathon Air Conditioning & Appliance - Porky's Bayside - Captain Hook's - SALT - Hurricane Grill

REGISTRATION:                                       CLICK HERE  for a printable registration form.
                                       Just print the page then scan and fax or email. Fax to 305.946.0232 or email to
                                                   (If all else fails just pick up the phone and call Rick or Greg to give them the information).
A captain's meeting will be held the Friday evening prior to the parade to go over the route and details with all boat captains.
     Held at Dockside Tropical Cafe - 5:00pm. You'll get your number to display during the parade here as well. If you can't make it but still want in the parade - just call us.
Questions? Email Greg at, or call Rick Sall at home at 305.743.9629, or Greg on his cell at 305.849.0285.

All boats are welcome to enter but must register - either print the form and return by fax or email, or register online.

The public may view the parade the closest at Lazy Days, Marathon Marina, Pancho's Fuel Dock, Burdines Waterfront, Dockside Tropical Cafe, Sombrero Resort, or the Boot Key Harbor Bridge, plus the many Condo's up and down the harbor. We expect many Christmas parties at the numerous condos and apartments along the route.


Awards presented to the "Best Overall" boat, then the Best in Class for boats a) 17ft and under, b) 18-29ft, and c) 30' and over

    1997 1st Annual - new photos posted Jan 2006!
    1998 2nd Annual
    1999 3rd Annual
    2000 4th Annual
   2002 6th Annual
    2003 - 7th Annual

    2004 - 8th Annual -
If you have photos of the parade in any year that you'd like to share, please email them to and we'll give you credit for the photo(s).

Boot Key Harbor website created and maintained by Capt. Gregory T. Absten, Marathon.  - A Boater's Guide to the Florida Keys & Cuba
Copyright 2000-2012 Gregory T. Absten