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The Christmas Boat Lane Parade: 60 Years of Tradition

It all started 60 years ago with five friends and a clever idea...

On a whim, five men from Bay Area Houston decided to decorate their boats with Christmas lights and parade them around Clear Lake. It was their own whimsical take on Christmas decorating, and a new way to celebrate the holidays. Onlookers from lakefront homes and restaurants loved the gleaming spectacle on the water, and that evening became the very first Clear Lake Christmas Boat Lane Parade.

Christmas Boat Lane Parade

What started as a casual get together with five friends has ballooned into an annual Clear Lake celebration between more than 100,000 friends from surrounding cities.

Red Adair

Red Adair—the famed local oil well firefighter who was portrayed by John Wayne in the film “Hellfighters,” which was loosely based on his life—was one of the five original boaters. He participated every year he could, and today the Best Overall Boat Award is named after this hometown hero who, 60 years ago, decided Clear Lake could use a little Christmas cheer.

This year, scores of boaters have spent countless hours planning and decorating their vessels, upping the ante to hopefully come home with the coveted Red Adair award. Every year they outdo themselves, with bigger, brighter, more innovative designs.

Head out to the Clear Lake area on Saturday, December 11 at 6 p.m. to catch all the nautical fun and discover what local boaters have come up with this year!

2021 Christmas Boat Lane Parade Info


Saturday, Dec. 11th, 2021


6 p.m.


The parade begins in the Clear Lake channel—from the South Shore Harbour Marina and the Nassau Bay Lagoon—and proceeds out to Galveston Bay.

Public Viewing

Kemah Boardwalk Both Sides of Kemah/Seabrook Channel

Nassau Bay Lagoon South Shore Harbour Marina Clear Lake Shores Davis Road Canal/Constellation Pointe


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