Experience a Christmas lights display like no other when the iconic Brisbane River lights up with a glittering cavalcade of illuminated boats parading the length of Northshore Brisbane to a soundtrack of Christmas classics and merry hits.

Visitors of all ages are expected to line the riverbank and enjoy thrilling onshore entertainment including helicopter flyover, Christmas markets, live bands, roving performance artists and Flipside Circus displays to complement the dazzling on-water parade.

The FREE event begins at 4pm with live music, food trucks, festive celebrations and competitions with the Northshore Christmas Boat Parade starting at 6.45pm, the bedazzled boats parading a circuit of the Northshore Brisbane riverfront until 8pm.

Northshore Brisbane has four dedicated Party Hubs where families, friends, residents and corporate Christmas events can view the parade and soak up the festive atmosphere. There are also general seating areas to simply enjoy the parade on the waterfront.

The Party Hubs offer a variety of free and ticketed festive experiences to suit all merry partygoers and are located at Eat Street, Portside Wharf, Maritime Green and Hamilton Reach.

The Northshore Christmas Boat Parade will also raise money for selected charities who were instrumental in their SEQ flood rescue and recovery efforts earlier this year: LifeFlight, Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) and Volunteer Marine Rescue Queensland (VMRAQ). Participants and audience can donate their support via www.donate/ Fifty percent of boat registration fees will also be donated to the charities.

Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) General Manager Debbie McNamara said the signature event would entice thousands of visitors to line Northshore Brisbane’s riverbank.

“Northshore has fast become the must-visit precinct for immersive events and activations and this year it will become Brisbane’s new home of Christmas festivities,” Ms McNamara said.

“This precinct has a rich maritime history which continues with the Northshore Christmas Boat Parade; a celebration of the Brisbane River and the diverse vessels that work on and enjoy our city’s waterways.

“I invite everyone to enjoy the festive atmosphere and create a new Christmas tradition.” 

Lady Brisbane Captain Jim Kelly said it would be a treat to see a new, festive side to many of Brisbane’s hardest-working boats.

“Prepare to see charter boats, barges and other commercial vessels as they’ve never been seen before,” Captain Kelly said.

“These vessels and their crews work hard year-round so it will be a wonderful experience for them to pull out the decorations, turn on the Christmas lights and spend an evening bringing joy to thousands of spectators.”

Eat Street Northshore Director John Stainton said the popular dining destination was one of five official Party Hubs and offered visitors front-row seats to the on-water extravaganza.

“We’ll open up our prime riverfront vantage points to give Eat Street visitors unimpeded views and delight them with pre-Parade entertainment including Christmas carols,” Mr Stainton said.

“After 8pm, Eat Street hosts the official Christmas Parade After-Party, extending our trading hours and programming live entertainment on all our stages until 10pm.

“This is such a vibrant precinct and I’m excited to see the Northshore Christmas Boat Parade become a popular and permanent fixture on the events calendar.”

Northshore Brisbane has partnered with leading Brisbane companies and Events Made Special to offer discounted light hire, decorations and supplies for participating boats.

Northshore Christmas Boat Parade is proudly supported by the Queensland Government, Northshore Brisbane, Eat Street Northshore, Flipside Circus, Frasers Property, Hamilton Reach Residents Association and Portside Wharf.

For more information about Northshore Christmas Boat Parade, including registering your boat in the parade, or checking out the entertainment program and Party Hubs, visit