One of the most fun things to do this time of year along the NC Coast are the annual flotillas. It is a chance to participate in fun events and raise a lot of money for local charities!
The folks who enter their boats in the flotillas take the competition seriously and put a lot of thought and planning into their boat’s theme. Some spend all year gussying up their boats. They really get them “decked out” for the occasion!
All of these flotillas are always looking for more boat entries (the more the Merrier right?) so visit their websites if you’d like to enter your boat!
Here is the skinny on a few annual flotilla events along our coast:
The Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla:
The Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla boat parade is always held the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Saturday, November 30th, 2019) and begins at dusk (about 5:30 PM) in front of Inlet View Bar & Grill.
The Flotilla will then proceed down the Intra Coastal Waterway ending up at Sharky’s Waterfront Restaurant & Marina.
All of this will be to benefit the Brunswick Family Assistance Program! Be sure to come join the fun at the Flotilla and party with your friends for a GREAT CAUSE.
Boat parade starts at 5:30 in front of The Inlet View Bar and Grill at Shallotte Point and proceeds down the Intracoastal waterway to the commercial canal in front of Sharkey’s Restaurant where judging will take place.
As always there will then be a gi-normous Flotilla Party in the main dining room (and all over Sharky’s) with a night of music (local band Bailout) and general Merry Making!
After awards are given out the party cranks up with live music provided by Bailout Band. There will be a number items for auction including Jimmy Buffet concert tickets. Flotilla T- shirts will be available for purchase.
For more information about next year’s event or to enter a boat, call (910) 612-7799 or (910) 612-2793
ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT BRUNSWICK FAMILY ASSISTANCE!
For more information visit the Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla website.
The Wrightsville Beach Holiday Flotilla:
The hallmark of holidays at Wrightsville Beach is the 36th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla.
A great reason to spend Thanksgiving weekend at the beach, the fun starts Friday night with the tree lighting ceremony.
Quickly becoming an event favorite, kids love hopping aboard the Arab Choo Choo at Festival in the Park while adults browse through a selection of arts and crafts vendors. Christmas lights take to the water in a dazzling parade of boats at the signature Flotilla. Cast your vote for “People’s Choice” and “Crowd Favorite.” Afterwards, a spectacular fireworks show rings in the season.
The 36th Annual Flotilla weekend will be held on Saturday, November 30th, 2019
When was the last time that you spent Thanksgiving weekend at the beach?! Y’all come on down!
Their newest award is the Paula Sturdy Award for the Best Wrightsville Beach themed boat. This award was established from donations given by her family and friends. Because of their generosity, it will be funded for many years to come.
Tree Lighting + Visit With Santa
Tree lighting ceremony and visit with Santa at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall. Tree lighting begins at 5:30pm on Friday, November 29th, 2019
Festival In The Park & Antique, Classic & Special Interest Car Show
The Festival in the Park is quickly becoming one of the highlights of the flotilla weekend on Saturday, November 30th, 2019 from 10am-4pm.
This year’s festival will include a large play area for children including several inflatable slides and bounce houses, the always popular Arab Choo Choo, festival food, and more.
In addition to the children’s area, the Festival in the Park also includes a large selection of arts and crafts booths displayed by local merchants and artisans, and the Antique, Classic & Special Interest Car Show.
Boat Parade + Fireworks
The boat parade begins at 6pm with fireworks following the parade on Saturday, November 30th, 2019. The duration of the boat parade varies every year by the number of boat entries. There is no official location to watch the parade, but you can park in the Wrightsville Beach park parking lot and walk to any number of vantage points along the parade route, including the Banks Channel Bridge, the two South Harbor Island mini-parks, or the west side of Waynick Boulevard.
There will be fireworks following the parade.
They cruise form Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The boats compete for prizes and add to the wonderful holiday spirit.
The flotilla always takes place on the second Saturday after Thanksgiving and begins at 6 PM.
A panel of judges will be on hand to choose the winners. Bring the family and enjoy the evening at Carolina Beach.
Questions? Call 910-386-8081.
The Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla
Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla
December 7, 2019 | 5:30 pm-7:45 pm
The Crystal Coast Christmas Flotilla features boats, yachts, oars, kayaks and commercial vessels decorated for the season. The decorated boats can be seen at 5:30 p.m. on the Morehead City waterfront and at 6:15 p.m. on the Beaufort waterfront.
Boats may register to participate in the Flotilla by phone or mail, and until noon on Saturday, December 7, at the North Carolina Maritime Museum Store.
All decorated boats are judged and prizes for excellence and creativity are awarded at the Awards Party after the Flotilla in the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center located across the street from the museum.
Cash prizes will be awarded! Entry fee to participate. 252.504.7763. North Carolina Maritime Museum, 315 Front Street, Beaufort, NC 28516. www.ncmaritimemuseumbeaufort.com.
Swansboro Christmas Flotilla
At dusk, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, gather along Swansboro’s waterfront and watch the spectacular parade of lights down the White Oak River. Music will fill the air and you can enjoy treats, such as funnel cakes, cider and hot cocoa as you enjoy the lights glimmering off the river. You’ll be amazed by the lights and décor of the boats and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus! At the conclusion of the parade, Santa disembarks to hand out treats to the kids.
Swansboro’s Christmas Flotilla is also a cherished event each year among townies and visitors alike. Scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving, the flotilla kicks off the holiday season in style with boats decorated in the spirit of the season sparkling against the water. And what would a Christmas Flotilla be without good ole Saint Nick? Yep…he always shows… with a sack full of goodies for all the kids.
Friday after Thanksgiving – Annually
(Rain Date – Saturday)