Santa Claus will trade his sleigh for a wave runner this holiday season as Greater Fort Lauderdale takes the holiday spirit to the waves with boat parades, light displays and festivals along its iconic beaches, waterways and parks.


This year's highlight will be the 42nd Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, one of the top 20 parades in the world and the seventh largest one day spectator event in the country taking place Dec. 14. This festive event features a light show extravaganza with hundreds of brightly lit and decorated boats and yachts as they cruise from the downtown New River on
a 12-mile route along the Intracoastal Waterway.  www.winterfestparade.com

1Now in its fifth year, the Annual Light Up Lauderdale celebration Nov. 14, at Esplanade Park in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.  The season-long showcase of glittering holiday lights will be on display along the mile-long Riverwalk pathway in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District. www.goriverwalk.com





2A perennial favorite for more than 50 years, Christmas on Las Olas Boulevard will see the Winter Wonderland return to the chic shopping street on Dec. 3. Festivities include snow showers, a Snow Mountain, carolers, and decorated shops, boutiques and restaurants. Plus Skate Las Olas brings the magic of ice skating to Las Olas Boulevard, from Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, 2014. www.lasolasboulevard.com

 



Other Greater Fort Lauderdale holiday happenings include:
 
Holiday Fantasy of Lights
Nov. 22 - Jan. 4, 2014
Throughout the holiday season, Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek will feature three miles of giant animated holiday displays and illuminated trees, blending favorites of the past and exciting new creations. www.holidaylightsdrivethru.com

The Book of Mormon
Nov. 26 - Dec. 22
The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards® including Best Musical. From the creators of South Park, this fish-out-of-water tale, starring two eager Mormon missionaries on a trip to Africa. www.browardcenter.org
 
Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant
Nov. 30 - Dec. 15
First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale celebrates its annual Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant with a lavish and colorful production. www.firstfortlauderdale.com

Bonnie Raitt with Paul Brady November 30
Nov. 30
Rock and Roll hall of famer, and Grammy-winning singer, Bonnie Raitt comes to Hard Rock Live this winter during non-stop tour schedule following her long awaited album debut of her latest album "Slipstream," last spring. www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com
 
Garden of Lights at Flamingo Gardens
Dec. 6-8, 15, 21-22
Every Saturday and Sunday in December, Flamingo Gardens will be decked out with thousands of lights, decor and music for the Garden of Lights display. Holiday concerts and performances, visits by Santa, kids crafts and other holiday fun fill the air from 5pm to 7pm. www.flamingogardens.org
 
Water Taxi Winterfestival of Lights
December
Throughout December, view an amazing spectacle of holiday lights along the Intracoastal Waterway and New River with the Water Taxi Winterfestival of Lights.  Board any Water Taxi vessel after 5pm and see the lights all night for only $13.  Water Taxis also stop at popular shopping and restaurant locations for a fun, festive and convenient night (or day) out. www.watertaxi.com
 
Lauderdale Live
Don't miss the debut of Lauderdale Live, De 6-8, along the scenic waterfront in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Headliners Lyle Lovett, Huey Lewis & The News, are joined by Jason Isbell, Indigo Girls, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Shovels & Rope, Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, The Wild Feathers, Holly Williams, Lee DeWyze, Jillette Johnson, and more. Plus, a lavish VIP event onboard three luxury yachts docked along the New River on Dec. 6. "Yacht Discovery Experience," ships are supplied by super yacht charter company, Y.CO. www.lauderdalelivemusic.com
 
Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade
Dec.7
The Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade at the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk is celebrating its 58th year with a "Jingle Bell Jamboree" theme, marching bands, floats and more. www.hollywoodfl.org
 
Donny & Marie Christmas in South Florida
Dec. 7
Donny & Marie Christmas will be on tap this holiday season with holiday songs and a nostalgic look back at their storied career in a dynamic stage show showcasing fan favorites including "A Little Bit of Country, A Little Bit Rock ‘n Roll," "Paper Roses," "Puppy Love" and "It Takes Two." www.thebbtcenter.com
 
The 51st Annual Pompano Beach Boat Parade
Dec. 8
The Annual Pompano Beach Boat Parade along the Intracoastal Waterway in Pompano Beach is one of the oldest holiday boat parades in the country. Dozens of glittering yachts and vessels sail along the parade route from Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach north to Deerfield Beach. The parade culminates with the Captain's Party, with up to 75 decorated boats illuminating the waterway. www.pompanobeachchamber.com
 
The Nutcracker
Dec.13-15, 18, 21-22
The Arts Ballet Theatre presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, featuring lavish sets and scenery, colorful costuming, and delightful theatrical effects. www.browardcenter.org   
 

Trace Adkins, The Christmas Show
Dec. 17, Hard Rock Live
Adkins first-ever Christmas album, ‘The King's Gift,' released on Oct. 29, features Celtic carols that marry American folk music while utilizing unique traditional instruments including  weissenborn, mandolin, uilleann pipe, penny whistle, violin, viola, cello, harp and organ. www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com  
 
Orange Bowl Downtown
Dec. 31
Ring in the New Year in Downtown Fort Lauderdale at the Orange Bowl Downtown Countdown. One of the largest New Year's Eve celebrations in Florida, this free 11-hour street festival features 10,000 lights, and a variety of activities for the whole family including bounce houses, face painting and games, contests and line dancing. http://fortlauderdale.gov/events
 
The Wizard of Oz
Jan. 7 - Jan. 19, 2014
Andrew Lloyd Webber's new production of The Wizard of Oz features all the beloved songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Take a journey to the merry old land of Oz this winter. www.browardcenter.org.
 
Barry Manilow
Jan. 17, 2014
Performing one night only, the undisputed #1 Adult Contemporary Artist of all time, brings his high-energy, hit-packed concert to the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, performing more than 50 Top 40 hits like, "Mandy," "Can't Smile Without You" and "Copacabana (at The Copa)." www.thebbtcenter.com
           
Memphis the Musical
Feb. 25 - March 9, 2014
Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Memphis is the hottest new Broadway musical with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. The Tony-winning original score features music by Bon Jovi's founding member David Bryan. www.browardcenter.org  
 
For more information on these events and a complete list of winter festivities and events in Greater Fort Lauderdale, please visit www.sunny.org.



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About Greater Fort Lauderdale:

From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a "beach chic" vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping. For more info, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/visitlauderdale or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitlauderdale or follow our pins at www.pinterest.com/visitlauderdale or join us on Foursquare at www.foursquare.com/visitlauderdale To have Greater Fort Lauderdale in the palm of your hand, download the free iPhone applications, Defrost Your Swimsuit and ‘Fork' Lauderdale, and Mild to Wild the LGBT mobile site at www.sunny.org/apps.