PALM COAST, Fla. (December 10, 2023) – Offering spectators an unforgettable show, thousands lined the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway Saturday evening for the 40th Annual Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade presented by the Palm Coast Yacht Club.

With no cost to enter or decorating contest to ante up for, it’s a beloved tradition for area boaters who want to get into the holiday spirit and share their enthusiasm with the community. More than 100 participated on Saturday night, setting another record for the event which was broadcast live by Flagler Broadcasting’s KOOL 100.9 FM and livestreamed by the City of Palm Coast for those unable to attend.

Raise a Toast

Annual boat parade parties have become popular over the years and cheers of appreciation can be heard up and down the waterway along the parade route as spectators and participants interact.

One of the area’s largest parties is hosted by Richard Hamilton in Island Estates, where revelers mix and mingle for the holiday season. Others pack picnics and stake out prime vantage points along the banks of the ICW early in the afternoon.

Dedicated to Al

Spearheaded by powerhouse organizer Sarah Ulis, a member of the Palm Coast Yacht Club, this year’s event was dedicated to Palm Coast resident and boat parade enthusiast Al Krier.

A record holder among local boaters, Krier had been part of the boat parade for more than 25 years before his passing on December 24, 2022.

Captain Al Krier (center) is joined by Captain Jeremy Mayer and Dale Baker after the Captain’s Meeting on December 18, 2021.

Suited up as a holiday greeter for the captain’s meeting early one Saturday morning at Pine Lakes Golf Club in 2021, the 85-year-old Krier revealed it’s wasn’t the only record he held.

“I didn’t raise my hand, but I’m the oldest guy here,” joked Krier in his signature holiday suit. “I love it. One of the neighbors helps me, a couple of the neighbors ride with me on the boat, and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Helming an 18-foot Pilot 49, his antique watercraft is an American classic.

“It’s a lobster boat designed by Halsey Herreshoff who was a great sailor for the U.S. Cups,” shared Krier.  “He built 100 of them, well over 50 years ago and to my knowledge, there’s only two or three that are in existence and running, and this is one of them.”

Krier’s boat participated in the 40th Annual Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade Saturday night.

“The number of officially registered boats was met and even surpassed by other Palm Coast boaters who decorated their boats to the plimsol line and on up into the sky,” said Ulis.

“The decorating accomplishments out there last night were nothing less than astonishing – they easily numbered 150 or more, making the Palm Coast Holiday Boat Parade the largest in the United States. We will have official counters next year and submit this to the wonderful folks at Guinness. Thanks to everyone for participating and making this such an amazing event for Palm Coast.”

Did You Know?
Al Krier’s community activism carried over to the land as well and in 2023 a trail was dedicated to Al Krier by the City of Palm Coast for his efforts to increase safety along Cimmaron Drive. City of Palm Coast Celebrates Al Krier at Trail Dedication Ceremony – Flagler News Weekly