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Man and woman talking with reporter


By: Danielle Garcia

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A tiki bar is getting set to sail as part of a South Florida holiday tradition.

The folks with Cruisin’ Tikis are getting their boat ready to float down the annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade.

“This took many months of planning, as soon as we found out what the theme was going to be for the Winterfest Parade,” said Captain Carl Smith, Cruisin’ Tikis franchise owner, “so my wife and her girlfriend were thinking what could we do, and they came up with the idea of the octopus on top of the tiki.

The theme? Neon lights under the sea.

Smith and his creative team also made coral with pool noodles, painted some fish and added lots of lights

“It’s quite tasking to do all this work. It’s not a one- or a two-person job,” said Smith.

Karen Darby and her husband started the Cruisin’ Tikis company.

“My husband’s actually the inventor. He invented the first one right in our backyard,” said Darby.

Darby and her husband Greg have attended the parade for years. Once they started their company, they joined in the fun themselves.

​Their floating bar is now one of almost 100 other boats in the holiday parade.

But this year has a special meaning for Darby and her friends: her husband Greg died in June.

“It will be the first year without him,” said Darby, “but we knew he would want us to go on and do that. I think he’s watching over, so we’ve gotta do an extra special job for him.”

“My goal is to make sure his legacy never dies,” said Smith.