Join over a million viewers at this year’s Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is the nations largest holiday boat parade. It runs 5 nights, from December 13 – 17 and will feature decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes. See the route map below.
The boat parade is located in the harbor where John Wayne and other water-loving yachtsmen made this Orange County city famous for celebrity star power. But another kind of star shines each year around Christmas time. Even when black & white silent movies were filmed in the bay, there was a Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. A tradition that not only honors the season, but also some of the oldest California yacht clubs and the spirit of adventure, is one of the most anticipated annual events in Southern California. Nothing short of brilliant, its lights shine underneath the stars that bathe the Newport harbor and bay with a special glow.
Hosted by Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Commodores Club, get ready for five nights of color, sparkling lights, and crowds, to be sure. Getting there can be a challenge (not quite as difficult as the 4th of July), but the views are well worth it if you score a parking spot to watch this feast for the eyes. (Easiest parking is in the municipal parking lot across the street next to the Balboa Pier and Ruby’s Original Diner.)
If you aren’t standing on a bridge or beach along the peninsula, you may consider booking a dinner spot or boat charter ride to get out and see it first hand. Beginning around 6:30 pm, a parade commentator will announce the entries in the parade, and you can hear them along the Fun Zone area near Balboa Pavilion. If you plan ahead, consider staying at the Balboa Bay Resort which has some of the best views of the parade route.
From carolers singing Christmas favorites, to nearly 100 vessels ranging from kayaks to yachts, the backdrop of the darkened night lets imaginations run with unpredictable entries. In addition to the boats being lit, harbor homes and business also participate in a decorating contest that brings the Balboa Peninsula and island residents out for some neighborly fun. Categories: Best Lights and Animation, Best Music, Best Demonstration of Theme, Best New Entry, and Best Humor and Originality. For more information, check out the official website.
Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Route Map