The 104th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
It’s time to deck the halls and deck the decks as the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade celebrates its 104th year with a Surf, Sand and Santa theme Dec. 19-23 in Newport Harbor. Come see yachts and boats, canoes and kayaks strung up with Christmas lights and trimmed like trees as they make their way on a 14-mile parade route through the harbor. The parade starts at Bay Island at 6:30 p.m. for five nights and usually ends around 9 p.m. You can find a map with approximate times the parade passes certain landmarks on the parade’s website to better plan your vantage point. But whether you plan to view the show by land or by sea, here are a few tips to help you maximize your viewing pleasure.
Be sure to arrive at least 45 minutes before showtime as parking can be less than merry. Parade happens rain or shine, so dress warm and wear comfortable shoes. Many restaurants along the harbor are prime look-out points, but make a reservation as patio seating starts booking up right after Thanksgiving. When calling, have your credit card number ready since some restaurants take a deposit for reservations made on boat parade nights. The lawn of the Newport Sea Base or the ticketed bleacher-style seating at American Legion Post 291 on PCH are also great viewing spots. And it’s not just the boats that get into the holiday spirit. Take a stroll around the harbor and check out the decorated homes and businesses that compete in the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s “Ring of Lights” contest. Fireworks will be launched off Balboa Pier on Sunday, the parade's final night at 9 p.m.