A survivor guide on Fort Lauderdale's boat parade

Tips to view the parade

The parade starts on the New River at 6:30 p.m. To get a glimpse of every boat, you want to be near the Stranahan House and the Riverside Hotel on the North Side, and Smoker Park on the South side.

More great viewing: Las Olas Bridge on the Northeast Corner at the Las Olas Marina. There are 400 parking spaces up for grabs and an amazing view. Should arrive at this area about 7:00pm or so. Bring a chair and a cooler.

Birch State Park: Reserved and assigned grandstand seats are $18 for children ten and younger and $22 for adults (military and senior discounts are available). A festival atmosphere with over 60 vendors set up and lots of giveaways- Live stage entertainment, food and drinks all for sale. Park and Ride shuttles from the Galleria. You can also walk into Birch state park for only $3 per person and bring a chair/blanket and get your spot along the seawall for optimum viewing.

The parade ends at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano beach. The last bridge that the parade goes thru is Commercial boulevard.

There are so many great ways to see the parade from every budget possible. From the lavish mansion parties, to non profit fundraisers, maybe view from a private yacht or pay to go on a charter yacht. Bring your own boat out and watch from the sidelines.

- Dawn Read, Winterfest