Halloween is long gone. Thanksgiving has passed. Hanukkah has just wrapped up. Now it's time to focus on the ultimate consumerist holiday. To get ready for the big day, cities around South Florida are lighting up the towns and waterways.
• Hollywood Beach Candy Cane Parade: It's Destination Illumination this year at the Hollywood Broadwalk's Candy Cane Parade. On Saturday, December 7, from 7 to 9 p.m., marching bands, floats, community groups, and more will be taking over the beach. Call 954-921-3404, or visit christmasnearthebeach.com.
• The 37th-annual Boat Parade in Boca Raton: Starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, December 7, at C-15 Canal (on the Boca Raton and Delray Beach border), boats decked out for the holidays are making their way around the Intracoastal. Entrance is free for boats; prizes will be given to the best "dressed." Public viewing is available at Silver Palm and Red Reef parks. Visit ci.boca-raton.fl.us.
• Garden of Lights at Flamingo Gardens: Starting the weekend of December 6 to 8 and continuing the following weekend, Flamingo Gardens is bringing the holidays to the tropics with thousands of lights, decorations, and holiday seasonal music filling the air. A light show takes place each night from 5 to 7 p.m. The viewing is free with any paid daytime admission or a $5 ticket. Call 954-473-2955, or visit flamingogardens.org.
• Pompano Beach Boat Parade: Starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, December 8, boats with holiday cheer will be floating down Pompano's waterways. If you want to get in on one of the celebratory boats, space is available on the Musette party boat. For $60 per person, drink, eat, and dance while taking part in the parade. Call 561-791-9686, or visit pompanobeachchamber.com.
• The South Florida Paddle Sports Christmas Parade: Those with motorless floating objects can get in on the water processions too. On Saturday, December 7, starting at 6 p.m. (lineup begins at 5) DIYers in kayaks and canoes and on paddleboards will celebrate the holidays with decorated boards and traverse the water for the chance to win $250. The parade starts and ends at the Hollywood Beach Marina. An afterparty takes place at Ocean 101 Tiki Bar on Hollywood Beach. Call 954-648-9649, or visit soflowatersports.com.
Fri., Dec. 6; Sat., Dec. 7; Sun., Dec. 8, 2013