Port O'Connor boat parade dazzles Intracoastal Way

The Port O’Connor lighted boat parade kicks off at dusk on Dec. 5. 

Gather along the Intracoastal Canal in Port O'Connor at nightfall on Dec. 5 for a shining display of holiday spirit at the coastal community's annual lighted boat parade. 

As many as 45 decorated boats travel down the canal each year, kicking off Christmas in the community, said Darla Parker, president of the Port O'Connor Chamber of Commerce.

In years past, some participants have thrown parade necklaces and candy from boats. People have also set up tents at businesses along the canal to serve hot chocolate and cookies, which the chamber hopes to see happen again this year, Parker said. 

"Bring your lawn chairs or if you want to bring a tent or something and go early and claim a spot," she said. "Or if you have friends that live along the Intracoastal, a lot of people have parties and watch the parade from their homes, too."

The chamber will give out awards for boats in different decorating categories during an award ceremony held after the parade at Hurricane Junction, Parker said.  

Many of the boats that participate are part of the Freeport to Port O'Connor Toy Run, which occurs on the same day. 

Boasts filled with toys make a 72-mile run from the Surfside Marina and Bridge Bait & Tackle at the foot of the big bridge in Surfside Beach to the Port O'Connor jetties to benefit the Adopt-an-Angel Program. 

The program provides toys to more than 400 at-risk children in 11 counties along the Texas Coast. All toys are delivered to Angel Tree staff at the Inn at Clark's. 

People can register for the toy run at poctoyrun.net and the lighted boat parade at portoconnorchamber.com. Parker said registration for the parade will remain open until the day of the event. 

"The Freeport-to-Port O'Connor are a big supporter and are really great contributors by providing gifts to the children," Parker said. 

Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

"I am a Houston native and 5th generation Texan, with a degree in journalism and minor in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin. I care deeply about public interests and the community I serve.”

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