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Celebrate the BOLTS: Boat Parade and Party Info for Families

Lightning has struck twice and the Bolts did it again. All of our hearts skipped a few beats when it happened on home ice as the puck hit the net–they beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 and the fans went all night long.

The Stanley Cup is staying in CHAMPA BAY and now we’re ready to celebrate in a way only Tampa Bay can…with another Tampa Bay Lightning Boat Parade!

The Boat Parade and Championship Celebration will be held on Monday, July 12 along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. No outside boats will be allowed to participate, so don’t even think about it.

The players will board the boats and other water craft at Davis Islands and then sail up the Hillsborough River at 11:00 am along the Riverwalk until just after the area of Armature Works where they will then board a trolley and head to the Championship Celebration at Julian B Lane Riverfront Park which starts at 2:00 pm.

The Championship Celebration will feature live performances by Vo Williams and Big Boi. You can get more details here.

If you plan to take the kids to the parade, there will be plenty of places to view along the Riverwalk including spots not too far from a playground (because we know kids can get antsy while waiting). Here are some of our picks:

  • Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park (you can make a pit stop at Glazer Children’s Museum)
  • Julian B Lane Riverfront Park (this is where the celebration will be at 2pm)
  • Tampa Convention Center (Cotanchobee Park playground behind Amalie is close by)
  • Armature Works (the Water Works playground is within walking distance)

…on another note, each of these spots has a splash pad at or close by too, so pack the kids’ bathing suits and towels just in case.

As for the Championship Celebration, the area is totally stroller and wagon friendly which you might want to consider in case the little ones get tired and decide they don’t want to walk any more. Outside coolers will not be allowed, however we’ve rarely seen someone throw away a toddler’s snack and sippy cup.


As you’d imagine, parking is likely going to get a bit crazy in downtown, so plan to give yourself some time to snag a spot in one of the parking garages or lots near your chosen park.

The Lightning’s site for the events recommend the following parking options:

Park in Ybor and take the streetcar to downtown
Centro Ybor and Palm Avenue Garages: $1/hr

Downtown parking options
Royal Regional Lot, Pam Iorio, Convention Center and William F. Poe Garages: $10 all day
Fort Brooke Garage: $2/hr

Here’s another good resource to research your parking game plan.

Boat Parade map shared by the Tampa Bay Lightning:

Tampa Bay Lightning Boat Parade Map
Laura Byrne
Laura Byrne is an award-winning former television news journalist who spent 15+ years in newsrooms across the state of Florida including Sarasota, Tallahassee, Fort Myers and right here in Tampa Bay where she still freelances on occasion. She covered the political beat, crime beat and every day breaking news during her time in Florida newsrooms, but is now focused on sharing positive news stories and events with families in Tampa Bay. She is a proud mommy of two little boys who keep her on her toes and laughing every day. Her goal is to inspire families just like yours to get out and play and experience all that Tampa Bay and our great state of Florida have to offer! She encourages you to share your stories and upcoming events so we can spread the good news.

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