Everglades Christmas

Usually in North America Christmas is centered around scenes of snow and sitting around the fire. But what if you happen to be spending Christmas in say, Tasmania, or the Everglades, how might you celebrate there? Yesterday evening I was to find out. In the Everglades, as well as other parts of South Florida, a balmy Christmas of 78F comes with a boat parade. Boats duly decorated with Christmas lights met at the mouth of the Barren River and moved along the river into Everglades City where people gathered on the docks to watch the parade drift by. Here are just a couple images of the parade and a few of the individual boats. Wherever this may find you, may your Christmas be bright, even if not snowy and white.

Boats gathering at the mouth of the Barren River in Everglades City, FL

Boats gathering at the mouth of the Barren River in Everglades City, FL

The parade moved up the Barren River beneath Venus and the coming night sky

The parade moved up the Barren River beneath Venus and the coming night sky

A family waves to people on the docks

A family waves to people on the docks

Rudolph and an alligator lead the way....

Rudolph and an alligator lead the way….

Even Santa makes a rare appearance in the swamps...

Even Santa makes a rare appearance in the swamps…

What unique celebrations do you find where you live?

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15 thoughts on “Everglades Christmas

  1. Merry Christmas. Thanks for the photos though it made me a little sad that’s where the only family I have is located. Best

  2. I grew up on a tiny island in The Bahamas called Man-O-War Cay, with a small population of British colonials descended from Loyalists of the American Revolution. Every Christmas morning the community (which are mostly family) joins together for a big get together with homemade goodies, sings carols and waits for Santa Claus (usually one of the elderly residents dressed in the timely costume) to arrive to give the kids presents (all provided in secret by their parents.) The annual tradition is for the kids to line up and call for Santa as loud as they can, until he finally “hears” and comes sack in hand walking up the street. This has been done for many decades, but today there are much more events such as a Christmas tree lighting in the center of town.
    Nowadays on the larger island where I live now, there are multitudes of church pageants to attend and an annual Christmas festival, with lots of food for sale, ranging from fried chicken and fries to Bahamian cuisine such as crab and rice, conch fritters, and fried fish and peas ‘n rice. (Made from pigeon peas, and a fried tomato sauce and onion mixture to give the rice a reddish brown color.) Local schools and churches perform carols, and a small Junkanoo group parades in their brightly colored cardboard costumes adorned with feathers, beating their drums and ringing their cowbells. Junkanoo is a parade like Carnival. There are carnival type games for kids to play, and of course Santa makes an appearance.
    Years ago when the economy was good, there was also a boat parade, some quite fancier than those in your pictures. Other traditions like Christmas trees come from our British heritage and have been done for decades, but now there is also our closest neighbor America which has the most influence on celebrations.
    It’s pretty much the same temperature here as in south Florida, and many kids enjoy Christmas break beaching and boating. Adults too! 🙂

  3. Just beautiful! Sometimes I think people celebrate Christmas anywhere, because it’s as though there is a certain calm that comes with it. A calm that allows happiness and spiritual wellness. Merry Christmas by the way 🙂

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