2016 Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade Information

The 6th Annual Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade will be held Sunday June 19th, 12pm – 2pm. 


The 2016 Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade is Free and Everyone is invited! The parade is a part of the Bartram’s Garden River Fest.

Anyone can be in the parade. No registration is necessary. All you need is a costume and something that floats. If you don’t have something, ask around. You’d be surprised who has an old canoe or raft or giant inflatable alligator in their basement.  Trophies with will be awarded for the most fabulous costumes,  leakiest boat and everything in between.

Paraders with Boat(s): Load-in will start at 11 am at high tide, under the train bridge. The entrance to the load-in and parade parking area is 51st Street and Lindbergh Boulevard. (SEE MAP) Take 51st Street to the river. Wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy, as the load in area is muddy muddy. There will be volunteers on hand to help and there is plenty of room for parking (SEE MAP).. Bring some water to drink, it’ll be hot!

Paraders without Boats: If you would like to be in the parade, but have no river craft, there are several floats & rafts available. Scroll down for more information on these floats……

Spectators: Come! The parade loves an audience! The parade is happening as part of the Bartram’s Garden River Fest, 11am – 3pm, where there will be food, music, pony rides, a farmer’s market, a pop up bike clinic, trick horse riding from Divers Stables, face painting, and more! So if you are boat-less, there is plenty to do. If you are driving to the event, parking is $5. There is plenty of free bike parking and we’re on the 36 trolley line.

Parade Route: There will be an procession at 12pm to begin, but after that – wherever you want, it’s your parade!

Just some things you should expect to see at the parade:

Floating Victorian-era Ice Cream Parlor: Little Baby’s Ice Cream will be dishing out FREE ice cream to paraders from  this float honoring late 19th century gardener Ann Bartram Carr.

DJ Jay Plus will be playing parade tunes from the solar powered Wetlands Boat.

A fleet of Philadelphia Waterborne rowboats will lead the procession. All the boats were handbuilt and handpainted by Philadelphia public school students.

The 114 year old Tug Jupiter.

Awards : The award ceremony will take place on water, from the Wetlands Boat at 2pm!

Important: This is a parade of friends and neighbors. The parade is YOU! So please help each other out, make it up as you go along, enjoy yourselves.

There are only TWO RULES.  (1)If you are on the river, you need a lifejacket – what we call in the nautical world a PFD (personal flotation device). You need to have one for each person in your boat. We will have a few extras, however if you have them, bring them!  Kids under 12 must wear lifejackets when on the river. (2) No motorized boats, please!

Thanks everyone!! You’re great!!

Questions?   Email Danielle Redden at danielle@bartramsgarden.org



If you are interested in borrowing any of the floats below, please email danielle@bartramsgarden.org

We have 2 floating platforms available for a 2 groups of potential boat paraders to decorate and make fabulous. One is 6X24ft and could fit up to 12 people and must be decorated in Victorian-era style, honoring gardener Ann Bartram Carr .  This float will also be serving up ice cream (a Little Babies staffer will be on board to do so) to the paraders passing by. Email me if you have a group that wants to take this float!

The other is 8X18ft and could fit up to 10. The other float is open for any theme. Email me your float theme idea, with descriptions of your decorations and costumes. The best idea takes the float!

Both these platforms live at Bartram’s Garden Community Boathouse, on the river, and you would have to some here to do the pre-parade decorating. You would supply all materials. We have some tools available on site for loan.


We have an 8ft diameter inflatable pizza up for loan to a group of 8 (one slice per person). It is required each person in the group dress up like their favorite pizza topping. Email me if interested in claiming this float for your group, with a list of your toppings.


We have 1 inflatable swan, 2  flamingos and 1 giant unicorn up for loan for individual parade enthusiasts. Again, you must be in costume to borrow the float. Email me you corresponding costume idea and preferred floating creature. Best ideas take the float!