Colonial BeachCommunity May 2, 2023

A Timeless Tradition: Colonial Beach’s Annual Boat Parade

Every year, the small waterfront town of Colonial Beach comes alive with the sights and sounds of one of its most beloved events: the annual boat parade. This tradition has been celebrated for many years and has become an integral part of the town’s identity and culture. For locals and visitors alike, the boat parade is a highlight of the summer season, offering a chance to experience the town’s charm and beauty in a unique and exciting way.

In this article, we will take a closer look at Colonial Beach’s annual boat parade, including its history, the parade route, and what you can expect when you attend this beloved event.

History of the Boat Parade

The Colonial Beach Boat Parade has been a longstanding tradition in the town for over 60 years. Originally started as a way to celebrate the Fourth of July, the parade has since grown to become a beloved event that draws large crowds each year. The parade is organized by the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with local businesses and community organizations.

The Parade Route

The parade takes place on the Potomac River, with boats traveling along a route that begins at the town pier and ends at the Colonial Beach Yacht Center. The parade typically lasts for several hours, with boats of all shapes and sizes participating in the event. Some of the most popular boats in the parade include those that are decked out in patriotic colors, adorned with twinkling lights, or featuring unique and creative themes.

What to Expect

Attending the Colonial Beach Boat Parade is an experience like no other. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be immersed in the festive atmosphere of the event. Here are some things to expect when you attend the boat parade:

  1. Spectacular views – The parade route provides stunning views of the Potomac River, with boats passing by in a colorful and lively procession.
  2. Family-friendly fun – The boat parade is a family-friendly event, with plenty of activities and entertainment for kids and adults alike.
  3. Live music – Many local bands and musicians perform along the parade route, adding to the festive ambiance of the event.
  4. Fireworks – The parade is often followed by a spectacular fireworks display, which illuminates the night sky and adds to the excitement of the event.

Tips for Attending the Boat Parade

If you’re planning to attend the Colonial Beach Boat Parade, here are some tips to help you make the most of your experience:

  1. Arrive early – The parade draws large crowds, so it’s best to arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.
  2. Bring snacks and drinks – The parade can last for several hours, so be sure to bring plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you fueled throughout the event.
  3. Dress appropriately – The parade takes place in the summer, so dress in lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes.
  4. Bring a camera – You won’t want to miss the opportunity to capture the colorful and creative boats as they pass by, so be sure to bring a camera or smartphone to snap some photos.


The Colonial Beach Boat Parade is a timeless tradition that embodies the town’s spirit and charm. Whether you’re a longtime resident or a first-time visitor, attending this event is a must-do experience that will create lasting memories. So mark your calendar and join the festivities at the next Colonial Beach Boat Parade on June 10th 2023!