By Tiffany Merlo Phelps

For the past nine years, Nels and Connie Frostenson have held a Palm Valley Boat Parade party at their North Roscoe home, inviting 40 to 80 guests to share their festive spirit with the passing boats. Their most popular theme so far has been a “White Out Party,” complete with black lights all over the dock with guests wearing all white. The Frostensons have lived in Palm Valley for more than 18 years. 

“We are towards the end of the parade, so boats look for our crazy festivities,” said Connie Frostenson, adding that they also hand out to guests red clown noses to represent Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and glow sticks to make it fun.

“The Palm Valley Boat Parade is a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season — filled with history and traditions,” she said.

Capt. Bob Brindle, who has been driving boat #77 in the lighted boat parade for the past 23 years as the lead boat, said interaction with the docks like the Frostensons is what makes the parade so special. He is once again looking forward to the parade which will be held this year on Saturday, Dec. 2. 

“For me, it is a family event. We have our children, grandkids, and great grandchildren with us. It is one of the few parades where the boaters can interact with the decorated docks. It is a great family event,” he said. 

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. starting at Marker 3, just south of the Palm Valley Bridge. From there, the procession will continue north and is anticipated to reach Marsh Landing around 8:05 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Live updates on pacing and expected arrival times at various landmarks will be given out as well. Water safety assistance is also provided during the event by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Johns County Fire Rescue and Florida Fish and Wildlife. 

Parade coordinator Beacham Still said the best places to view the parade are the restaurants along the seven-mile boat route of Palm Valley’s Intracoastal Waterway: Palm Valley Outdoors, Barbara Jean’s On the Water, Palm Valley Fish Camp and Valley Smoke. Also, Mickler’s Wharf and under the Palm Valley Bridge are other possible public viewing locations, he said. 

Cash prizes will be given to boat winners in different size categories and to the best decorated docks. Still said typically 20 to 30 boats participate in the parade, and this year is looking strong. 

“We are always looking to expand the event in such a way that it allows for continuity and growth,” said Still. “The parade’s real mission is to support the community by creating scholarships for local high school students at Ponte Vedra and Nease.” 

He added that the parade is funded by generous participants, businesses, and neighbors, and it also benefits the Palm Valley Charities via the Palm Valley Community Association board. 

“We like to give back to our local communities,” said Still. 

For more information, visit or look for parade updates on their Facebook group page Still can be reached at 

Photo courtesy Beacham Still 

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