Published On: Nov 24 2012 10:14:53 PM ESTUpdated On: Nov 25 2012 08:47:14 AM EST
The recently saved St. Johns River Ferry lead off Saturday night's 28th annual Jacksonville Light Parade along the St. Johns River downtown.
Nearly 100 boats put on a show as they cruised between Metropolitan Park and the Acosta Bridge.
Families lined both sides of the St. Johns River, braving a cold night to see the boats lit up in their holiday finest.
"I've been to boat parades all over the country and this is one of the best I've seen so far," said Tracey Burke.
Participants in this years Jacksonville Light Parade almost didn't happen due to funding.
For the second straight year, the event was in jeopardy of being canceled because of a financial shortfall in the city's budget.
Thanks to a public/private partnership, boaters were able to spread the holiday spirit to onlookers along Jacksonville's waterfront.
"I love that everyone could come together and put on such a big show for everyone to see and I love the different themes that each boat had, especially the octopus boat that was pretty cool," said Taylar Godfrey.
The parade ends with one of Jacksonville's finest fireworks shows.