Although Sarasota is known for its beautiful beaches year-round, December brings a whole different light to this vibrant city. Christmas in Sarasota is full lights and holiday cheer, especially when the bright, bedecked boats roll into town! Make the most of this year's festivities by going to the Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade and other events for more holiday fun!

10th Annual Gingerbread House Festival

The Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida are hosting their 10th Annual Gingerbread Festival at The Mall at University Town Center from Friday, November 30 to Sunday, December 9. There will be gingerbread houses crafted by students from more than 150 local schools. Vote for your favorite gingerbread house in the People's Choice Award and reserve the one of your choice to purchase and take home to your family.

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23rd Annual Sarasota Holiday Parade

The parade will take place along Main Street in Downtown Sarasota from 7 p.m. to 8:30 pm on Saturday, December 1. There will be decorated floats, marching bands, and a special appearance at the end of the parade by Santa Claus himself.

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Holiday Splendor at The Ringling

At the Ringling Museum of Art, watch this Christmas celebration of the sights and sounds of the holiday with your family on Tuesday, December 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 pm. This event will support the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots which serves Sarasota and Manatee counties, and tickets are free if you bring one unwrapped toy per guest; otherwise, admission is $15 adults and $5 for children ages six to 17. There will be musical performances by local are elementary, middle, and high school students. Food and beverages will be available for purchase as well.

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33rd Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

A celebrated tradition since 1986, this year's Christmas boat parade will be on Saturday, December 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at  Marina Jack: Sarasota Bayfront. Bring your family and friends to experience this spectacular parade of festively-decorated boats followed by an awards ceremony determining the best ones. The best areas for viewing the parade are Marina Jack, Bayfront Park, City Island Park, and Centennial Park.

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Holiday cheer is contagious in Sarasota as the city is packed with events for the whole family, so get into the spirit of the season by seeing the Sarasota Christmas Boat Parade and having more holiday fun!

Find even more for Christmas in Sarasota as well as New Years in Sarasota by registering on 941area, your free guide to everything going on in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.