Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Hey guys! Hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had some family that came in town from Upstate New York so getting that family time is always fun! Every time they come in town, a visit (actually several!) to Mystic is a must. We went there on Small Business Saturday to do some shopping and then see the annual holiday lighted boat parade.

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The first stop of the day was at Olde Mistick Village which is an outdoor mall consisting of mom and pop shops. It also has a movie theater, restaurants, bank, etc. The village is a nice place to walk around with a duck pond to visit and a town green has a gazebo where there was a band playing some music. Each business is in a house so it feels cozy. The shop owners are very friendly too! There are several unique shops that sells many different type of gifts especially for the upcoming holidays. Olde Mistick Village often hosts events through out the year too.

We went to Downtown Mystic after the village. There is a main street full of more mom and pop shops adorning Mystic River. I love visiting downtown every time - it’s fun to be able to go in the shops and then enjoy the scenery. Most of the shops windows were decorated with holiday festivity so it definitely feels like the holidays time!

The Connecticut ornament that I purchased at Salt Mystic (handmade by Yellow Table Design).

The Connecticut ornament that I purchased at Salt Mystic (handmade by Yellow Table Design).

Downtown Mystic is hosting a holiday stroll on December 4th at 6pm. It’s also a tradition for me to attend the holiday stroll. The shops will have specials and there will be carolers around downtown. The main street and Mystic River Park also will be lighted up with luminaria. Let me know if you plan on to attend - would love to meet you!

After we were shopped out for Small Business Saturday, we went to Mystic River Park to get a good spot for the holiday lighted boat parade. The holiday lighted boat parade is our annual tradition after Thanksgiving. I remember attending my first one few years ago. It was freezing that night but luckily this past Saturday wasn’t as freezing!

The Christmas tree in Mystic River Park is donated every year by someone in the town. It gets lit every year on the night of the boat parade. It is mounted in center of the river park filled with multi colored lights. The countdown to lighting the tree was loudly cheered by the folks surrounding Mystic River Park.

The Christmas tree in Mystic River Park.

The Christmas tree in Mystic River Park.

One of the boats in the holiday lighted boat parade.

One of the boats in the holiday lighted boat parade.

The holiday lighted boat parade is unique event that Mystic has and it’s always delightful! The boats are decorated creatively every year. One year a guy proposed to his girlfriend by using the lights spelling out her name, and “marry me?” (I was able to find out on Facebook after the parade that she did indeed accepted the proposal!).

Following the tree lighting, the boat parade finally started in the Mystic River with all of the boats coming from Seaport passing by the opened drawbridge, going towards the Marina. It started off with the Mystic Fire Department’s boat then the tugboat that brought in Santa Claus earlier that day for kiddos. The tugboat dropped off Santa in Mystic River Park where he visited and had his photograph taken with the kids. The tugboat was followed by several private owned vessels who wanted to participate in the parade. It’s always fun to watch!

The John Paul tugboat lighted for the boat parade.

The John Paul tugboat lighted for the boat parade.

The holiday lighted boat parade is the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year. I highly recommend to visit Mystic for shopping the Small Business Saturday deals then end the fun day with this festive holiday event!