Annual Boat Parade kicks off Christmas celebration in Chattanoog - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Annual Boat Parade kicks off Christmas celebration in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

A colorful display of lights filled the sky and the downtown riverfront area Friday night.

The 29th Annual Lighted Boat Parade kicked off the Christmas celebration, followed by a stunning firework show.

It was a little cold outside, but the crowds showed up anyway for this local holiday tradition.

40 boats lined up under the CB Robinson Bridge before taking off one by one down the Tennessee River.

Each boat was decked out with thousands of lights and holiday decorations, like Santa Clause, reindeer, Snoopy and Peanuts. 

Spectators enjoyed a full hour watching all the boats float by before several rounds of fireworks lit the Scenic City skyline that ended with the crowd cheering and all the boat horns honking. 

The surrounding streets were also lit with colorful flashing lights. Several vendors walked around with carts filled glow sticks,  swords and star shaped wands that were popular items kids wanted to buy. 

Organizers with the boat parade partnered with a non-profit charity organization called Chattanooga's Gifts that gives back to people in need throughout the state of Tennessee.

In addition to the boats, more than 130 downtown buildings, bridges and parks were also illuminated. They'll stay lit throughout the winter season.

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