The District’s Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf: Captain’s Sign-Up

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf: Captain’s Sign-Up
Register your vessel for the 30th Annual District’s Holiday Boat Parade, a magical night of boating and fireworks in Washington, DC.

Join The Wharf for a magical night of boating and fireworks celebrating 30th Anniversary of the District’s Holiday Boat Parade in Washington, DC.

This year’s parade will be on Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 6:00–9:00pm, with Fireworks at 8:00pm. The parade route stretches from the tip of Hains Point up the Washington Channel to the docks at The Wharf.

Members of the public who wish to view the District’s Holiday Boat Parade do not need to register; attendance is free and open to the public.


Captains of vessels who are planning to decorate their vessel and participate in the parade must use this Eventbrite ticket form to register their vessel.

Parade participation is limited to first 65 boats.

Registration ends Monday, November 21.

Download the Captain’s Overview Flyer here.

Parade Schedule

6:00pm: Land activities begin at The Wharf

7:00pm: Parade begins at Hains Point and sails into the Washington Channel

7:30pm: Parade boat docking begins as participants continue sailing down the Channel

8:00pm: Fireworks finale to the parade

9:00pm: Land activities end


Boats that decorate and participate in the parade in the Washington Channel are eligible for judging and may receive one of the following prizes:

  • Best in Parade: $1000 and trophy
  • Community Choice: $800 and trophy
  • First Place: $700
  • Second Place: $600
  • Third Place: $500
  • Best Sail Boat: $400
  • Best Motor Boat: $400
  • Founder’s Award: $300
  • Spirit of DC: $300
  • Best Crew: $300
  • Most Ingenious Idea: $300
  • Most Likely to Capsize: $100

And a special 30th Anniversary Award to be announced at the Private Captain’s After Party.

Limited to pre-registered boaters. Winners will be announced to the public at 9pm. Prizes will be distributed at the After Party.

Captains Meeting

The Wharf will host a mandatory Captain’s Coordination Meeting at The Wharf Galley for all pre-registered vessels on Thursday, December 1, at 7pm at 760 Maine Avenue. SW—2nd Floor. The meeting will include hors d’oeuvres, a hosted bar and giveaways. Parking is complimentary.

Captains After Party

The private Captain’s After Party begins at 8pm at Pearl Street Warehouse (33 Pearl Street SW). The After Party is limited to the participating Captain and up to 7 additional pre-registered crew per vessel (8 total maximum). This private event will feature live music, hot hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, parade awards, and parade prize distribution. The Captain’s After Party is a ticketed event, with tickets distributed by Eventbrite through the registration system—no exceptions will be made for non-registered boaters. Party concludes at 10pm.

Parade Gifts

Treasure Chest: Each pre-registered parade boat that enters the Washington Channel for judging will receive a Commemorative Holiday Boat Parade Captain’s Bag (distributed at the After Party) with Commemorative 30th Anniversary T-shirts and other Parade memorabilia for the pre-registered Captain and crew (maximum of 8 total per vessel).

Free On-Land Events

  • Family photos with Santa
  • Holiday ornament decorating
  • Miniature parade boats crafting
  • Christmas tree lighting
  • Live music
  • Roaring bonfire with s’mores available for purchase
  • Holiday street performers
  • Festive balloon art
  • Fireworks at 8pm


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