Santa Arrives by Tugboat & Holiday Lighted Boat Parade


Claim a spot of your very own on our community Christmas tree!

Celebrate a special event in your life or memorialize a loved one. We have a limited quantity of ornaments, so stop by our Welcome Center, email, or call us today for details.

From tomorrow through next Friday, November 29th, stop by the Mystic Chamber and purchase an ornament to personalize and hang on our Christmas tree located in Mystic River Park.

The tree will be lit November 30th at our Santa Arrives by Tugboat and Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, and ornaments will decorate the tree for years to come!


Mystic River Park | Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 2:00 PM

Santa Claus is coming to town and so is Mystic’s Holiday Lighted Boat Parade in Historic Downtown Mystic on November 30, 2019. Thousands gather at the Mystic River Park to watch Santa arrive at 2 pm on a 60’ tugboat, the John Paul, to open his ears to the wishes of children waiting anxiously in line to see him. After a brief break, festivities in the Park resume with the lighting of the Christmas tree at 6 pm. This event has become a beloved tradition in Mystic over the years-- don’t miss out on being part of the festivities by sponsoring our candy canes, parade & more!

Join us in welcoming Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin to our Santa Arrives by Tugboat & Holiday Lighted Boat Parade

Mystic River Park | Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 2:00 PM

Nia will arrive with Santa on the tugboat John Paul @ 2 PM

Nia Franklin was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and lived in the state through graduate school. She earned an undergraduate degree in music composition from East Carolina University, and a master’s in music composition from The University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Shortly after, Nia was awarded a Kenan Fellowship at New York’s Lincoln Center Education and made the move to New York City.

Nia was crowned Miss Five Boroughs at the age of 24, and then went on to win Miss New York 2018. And was awarded the job of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018.

A gifted singer/songwriter, Nia has been a teacher and music mentor, and has written over 100 songs, including one she began performing at age five. (The lyrics begin: “Love, love, love, love, love is the only thing that matters to me…”). For the Miss America 2019 competition, Franklin sang “Quando m’en Vo'” from Puccini’s La Boheme and wowed audiences and judges alike.

Throughout her year as Miss America, Nia has been promoting her social impact initiative ADVOCATING FOR THE ARTS through appearances at colleges and universities, performing with orchestras and operas across the country, at arts schools and holding master classes. At the invitation of the New York Philharmonic, she hosted their “Phil the Hall” and was named by the New York Times as the perfect host for the program which opens up classical music to all through free programming.

Among other events, she has been a part of the NY Metropolitan Opera and LA Opera's opening nights, was keynote speaker for the Center for Education Reform and the Lincoln Center’s Summer Music Forum and has worked with Sing for Hope to promote the arts among disadvantaged students. As Miss America, Nia has also brought joy to hundreds of children being treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as the National Goodwill Ambassador for CMN. In keeping with the Miss America Organization’s longstanding relationship with the military, Nia has also spent time supporting our men and women in uniform including a 4th of July USO Tour to Germany, Africa, Kuwait, and Spain. Learn more about the Miss America 2.0 2020 competition program & Mohegan Sun venue.

Follow Nia on Instagram and Twitter @MissAmerica


Mystic River Park | Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 6:00 PM

This annual tradition is one of our favorites. After an extensive search for the perfect Christmas tree, it is lit for the season at this event and will remain in Mystic River Park to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike throughout the holiday season.


Mystic River Park | Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 6:15 PM

Spectators then flood both sides of the Mystic River to see the decorated ships pass by. Entrance to participate in the 17th Annual Holiday Lighted Boat Parade only requires a toy or coat donation to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and it is open to the public. Decorated vessels parade down the Mystic River at 6:20 pm and return to the Mystic River Park, where spectators and judges gather. Boats are judged on creativity and team spirit, and prizes are offered for Most Charismatic Crew, Innovative Vessel, Best Dressed Vessel, Most Holiday Spirit and Miss Mystic Vessel of Grandeur.


Marguerite • Mockingbird • Eddie Maxwell • Cindy Flack • Jenny M • Mickey B • Sea Story • Summer School • Four C's

Mockingbird • Neptune • Pop Edgar • Happy Ours • Stacy & Geal


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