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The boats are back in town — for a Christmas parade
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Derek Bush celebrates after docking during the 2017 Lake Lanier Parade of Boats in Buford, on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

The Holiday Boat Parade is back.

It will be lit — as they say — as boats decked out in Christmas lights float across Lake Lanier Dec. 14.

Holiday Boat Parade

What: A parade of Christmas light-bedecked boats

When: 4 p.m., Dec. 14

Where: Begins at Gainesville Marina, ends at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

More info:

The parade will start at 4 p.m. at the Gainesville Marina and make its way south, picking up more boats along the way, until it reaches Margaritaville.

If you want to decorate your own boat and join the parade, you can still register to do so at

The money raised from registration will go toward the goal of collecting $10,000 each for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes and the Hall County Sheriff's Office Underwater Search and Rescue Unit.

If you don’t have a boat and simply want to watch, the parade will be passing Sunrise Cove and Port Royale Marinas around 4:30 p.m., Aqualand and Hideaway Bay Marinas around 5 p.m.and Holiday Marina around 5:15 p.m.

The best view will likely be from one of the parks or restaurants at the points along the route.

You can also make your way out to Margaritaville to see the boats up close as they arrive around 6 p.m.

They’ll have live music, a buffet of Mexican food, door prizes, raffles, live and silent auctions. Awards will be given out for the marinas with the most boats and most raised money as well as best decorated boat by class — decoration, spirit and theme.

The event will last until about 9 p.m.

Regional events