St. Augustine’s December calendar is packed with exciting events. Millions of lights cover the city from rooftop to trees all month long- but there’s only one night of lights that dot the river as well.
December 14, 2013 is the 33rd annual St. Augustine Regatta of Lights. Christmas lights adorn shrimp boats, sailboats, small bay boats and elegant yachts- bringing the festive holiday atmosphere of Nights of Lights to the waterways.
There may be a lone jon boat with one strand of lights powered by a clanking generator- but with awards offered for best theme, most colorful and best overall, the lineup is always fun, impressive and worth the drive. Sponsored by St. Augustine’s Yacht Club, other boaters are welcome to enter as well.
The Regatta of Lights starts at the Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine’s fort) and travels down the bay front to the Bridge of Lions. Arrive well before the 6:00 start time to secure a good viewing spot. Since all the boats cover the full stretch, anything along the seawall is great. Our kids love to play with glow sticks and sip hot chocolate from The Kookaburra while we wait for the parade to start.
Local tip- if you can snag one of the 4 tables on Harry’s balcony, you will have an amazing view of the parade! Other restaurants with a view include Acapulco Mexican, Meehan’s Irish Pub and the Tini Martini Bar.
There are a lot of things that are unpredictable in Florida. The weather in December, for example. During St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights, the weather may be all over the board but there are some guarantees. There won’t be enough parking. There will be thousands of visitors. There will be millions of lights. And there will be countless memories made. See ya there.