Since 1994, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum has given guests a chance to ride a replica of a historic schooner and be a part of the annual Christmas on the Water Boat Parade in Biloxi in December. This is a great opportunity to board a decorative Biloxi schooner and participate in the holiday parade rather than just watching it from the shore.
Tickets for this event often sell out quickly, and this year was no exception, according to Corey Christy, the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum outreach program coordinator. The event is sold out for this year, and those interested in participating in the next event in July are encouraged to act quickly when ticket sales begin.
The museum schooner has been participating in the Christmas on the Water Boat Parade since 1994 when the Mike Sekul was constructed. The Mike Sekul is one of the two Biloxi oyster schooner replicas built as part of the Biloxi Schooner Project under the auspices of the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. She was launched in April of 1994 as part of the effort to preserve the maritime and seafood industry of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The event gives families a chance to board one of these replica schooners and participate in the boat parade. The schooners will be decorated for the holidays and have Christmas music playing onboard.
“This is a unique way to get into the holiday spirit as well as participate in a great Biloxi tradition,” Christy said. “It’s like stepping back in history. It’s a chance to step out of the hustle and bustle and take in our beautiful MS sound in a relaxed environment.”
The parade begins and ends at the Schooner Pier Complex to rendezvous with the parade lineup at Channel Marker #5 south of the Biloxi Lighthouse. The boat parade itself takes place along the shore. The parade begins at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display to follow the end of the parade. The schooner will return to the dock around 8 p.m.
The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum offers the option to ride on the schooner during Christmas and Fourth of July events. This year’s Christmas schooner ride is sold out, but you can follow the museum on Facebook and visit their website to keep an eye out for when tickets are on sale for the next event.
Tickets for the Christmas event were $45 for adults and $25 for children age three to 12. Guests are welcome to bring food and refreshments aboard, and the museum provides ice chests and ice.