The District's Holiday Boat Parade - District Wharf | Kids Out and About DMV

The District's Holiday Boat Parade - District Wharf

*The event has already taken place on this date: Sat, 12/04/2021
Join us on December 4, 2021 for District's Holiday Boat Parade. Celebrate the holidays with this iconic DC event that features over sixty beautifully decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel. Get into the spirit as you decorate ornaments. Warm up by our fire pit and visit our lighted Christmas Tree. Go ice skating and sample winter drinks at our Waterfront Beer and Wine Garden. And bring the whole family to meet Santa and make memories during this annual DC tradition.

Please help us keep this calendar up to date! If this activity is sold out, canceled, or otherwise needs alteration, email so we can update it immediately.

Parade Schedule

6:00–9:00pm — Activities throughout The Wharf (Waterfront Beer and Wine Garden, s’mores, and live music)
7:00pm — Boats arrive in the Washington Channel 
8:00pm — Fireworks Salute
8:15pm–9:00pm — Live music on District Pier Stage

Boater Registration

Boat owners are invited to decorate their boats and pariticpate in the parade.  Boats participating in the District's Holiday Boat Parade receive commemorative swag bags, invitations to the Captains After Party, and are eligible for a chance to win some fantastic cash prizes, including the $1,000 Best in Parade award. Boat captains must register in advance of participation, and must attend the mandatory Captains Meeting on December 2 at 7pm.


A Holiday Tradition

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade is part of a Potomac River holiday tradition with the Alexandria Parade of Lights earlier in the evening at 5:30pm. Boaters are encouraged to participate in both parades for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes while dazzling crowds on both sides of the river. Captains: register for Alexandria’s parade here.  Captains must register separately for the DC and Alexandria parades.


*This event is free and open to the public; no registration is required to view the parade or enjoy the live music and activities. Must be 21+ to consume alcohol.

*There are many ways to get to The Wharf that are better than driving and parking. Learn more about Getting to The Wharf, including the Free Southwest Shuttle, Water Taxi, and Metro service updates.

*This event will take place rain or shine. Actual start times may vary pending parade progress.


*Times, dates, and prices of any activity posted to our calendars are subject to change. Please be sure to click through directly to the organization’s website to verify.


735 Water Street, SW
Washington , DC, 20024
United States


Contact name: 
District Wharf
Email address: 
The event has already taken place on this date: 
6 pm – 9 pm