Santa to join sailboat parade as part of Nauticus’ ‘WinterFest on the Wisconsin’


Lighted Sailboat Parade Brings Joy – and Santa – to Downtown Norfolk (Courtesy: Nauticus Norfolk)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Santa Claus has announced he will be joining the sailboat parade as part of Nauticus’ WinterFest on the Wisconsin.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 19 at 6:15 p.m., a socially-distant crowd will gather along the Elizabeth River for the event that runs weekly. Sail Nauticus’ fleet of sailboats will be decorated with holiday lights as they bring in Santa at about 6:35 p.m. onboard a Norfolk Fire Department boat. 

“We wanted to present something memorable and heartfelt to the community after a very long year,” said Nauticus executive director, Stephen E. Kirkland. “This parade was designed to be viewed not just from the battleship, but also from the surrounding neighborhood.”

The lighted boat parade began on November 21 as part of WinterFest on the Wisconsin. Each Saturday evening, residents and visitors have watched the parade and arrival of Santa from the sidewalks along the battleship.  

The boats in the sailboat fleet are part of Sail Nauticus, a youth sailing program that has served at-risk students throughout the region since 2013.

For more information on the lighted sailboat parade or Winterfest on the Wisconsin, visit

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