Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

December 17-23
Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade is a week-long nightly parade of boats at Newport Beach, Calif. The area has one of the largest concentrations of pleasure craft in the world—more than 9,000 boats are docked at the harbor. More than 150 boats of all kinds, wildly decorated with lights that depict Santa Claus, snowmen, snowflakes, and other symbols of winter, join the parade. Some boats carry huge inflated figures (an enormous Grinch in an engineer's cap appeared in 1990) and many play music. The vessels range from rowboats to tugs to elegant yachts.
The floating parades actually started in 1908 as a Fourth of July spectacular. (The Fourth parades are no more.) John Scarpa, a real-estate broker was trying to sell some property, and to promote it he lit up a gondola and eight canoes with Japanese lanterns and paraded around the harbor. This developed into the Illuminated Water Parade, and was a highlight of the Fourth for years. In 1946, the city got a barge, put a tree and carolers on it, and towed it around the harbor, and that began the current December parades. They are considered the "granddaddy" of water parades, the biggest in the nation. About a million spectators watch them during the festival's seven days.
CONTACTS:
Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
1470 Jamboree Rd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949-729-4400; fax: 949-729-4417
www.newportbeach.com
References in periodicals archive ?
Parade of Lights Christmas Boat Parade Wednesday, December 12 - Sunday, December 16 Watch beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes sail along the harbor in the 99th Annual Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade, which has been hailed as "one of the Top 10 holiday happenings in the nation" by the New York Times.
22 - Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade, Newport Harbor, (800) 942-6278, Dec.
89th annual Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade features more than 200 brilliantly decorated vessels cruising along Newport Harbor, beginning at 6:30 p.

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