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Waterfront Parade Ushers in Holiday Season This Weekend

Santa arrives by boat in Downtown Norfolk

Norfolk, Va. (November 23, 2021) – The Elizabeth River will look much brighter this Saturday evening as a lighted sailboat parade launches the holiday season in Hampton Roads. The fleet of sailboats, owned and operated by the Nauticus Foundation, will be decked with lights as part of WinterFest on the Wisconsin, a holiday light experience aboard the Battleship Wisconsin. The parade occurs along the waterfront adjacent to the battleship and culminates with the arrival of Santa Claus by boat.

“Though WinterFest guests will have a great view of the boats, this awesome parade is for our entire community,” said Nauticus executive director, Stephen Kirkland. “We hope everyone will come down to the waterfront and help us ring in the season.”

This weekend’s parade begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, November 27. Santa Claus will arrive by boat at approximately 6:20 p.m. Once Santa disembarks the boat, he will greet the public along the waterfront and be available for photos.

After the parade, grab a cup of hot chocolate at Griswold’s Café and stay for the tree lighting ceremonies later that evening!

Going to miss this Saturday’s parade? Santa and the sailboats will return on Saturday nights (weather permitting). Santa sails away December 18 with our fleet, so don’t miss the fun!

WinterFest’s general admission and member tickets are on sale. Book your night to discover your holiday spirit exploring this dazzling, waterfront light festival of over 650,000 lights.

Plan Your Visit
WinterFest on the Wisconsin runs November 11, 2021, to January 2, 2022, and is open each Wednesday – Sunday throughout the holiday season. Pricing varies: Wed-Thurs – $12.50 adult, $10 child general admission, Fri-Sun – $14.50 adult, $12 child general admission. Nauticus members receive a discounted rate.

About Nauticus
Support for WinterFest on the Wisconsin directly benefits the Nauticus Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Funding provides interpretation and restoration of the Battleship Wisconsin and allows Nauticus to open new onboard spaces and experiential learning opportunities for students, families and visitors.