NEWPORT BEACH : Holiday Boat Parade Commences Tonight

A floating procession of bright lights is expected draw more than 150,000 spectators to the city tonight for start of the 83rd annual Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade.

In recent years, as many as 200 boat owners have competed for awards for the best decorated vessels.

The entries range from the modest--those carrying a few strands of garland and multicolored lights--to top-prize seekers who adorn their yachts with holiday characters or put on computerized laser light shows.

Spectators may be found viewing the festivities from charter boats or bayside dinner tables along the parade route. Grandstand seating will also be available along the harbor sidewalk.


The Commodores Club at the Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event, says parking is likely to be scarce and crowds large, particularly on the first and last nights and the weekend of the event.

The Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the weeklong event, recommends that spectators buy grandstand seating through Ticketmaster.

Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children, and are available for every night of the parade except Wednesday, which is sold out.

The parade begins at 6:30 each night through Monday.


Parade on the Water

The 83rd annual Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade begins today.

PARKING: In city beach lots on Balboa Boulevard at Main or 15th streets. Beware of tow-away zones for illegal parking in merchants’ lots.

HOURS: Arrive an hour early, about 5:30 p.m. Parade starts at 6:30 p.m. at Balboa Island, passing later at other points around the bay, as it follows its route.


BRING: Blankets, warm jackets, no alcohol.

BEST VIEWING: For early arrivals, park in the City Hall parking lot, walk to Via Lido and take the bridge to Lido Isle. Boats will pass all sides of the island.

OTHER GOOD VIEWING: Balboa Fun Zone on the peninsula, or anywhere on the bay-front sidewalk around Balboa Island.

LAST-MINUTE VIEWING: Try parking on Bayside Drive near Jamboree Road, then walk over the bridge to Balboa Island, around to the south side of the island facing the Fun Zone. Boats are both coming and going between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


SOURCE: Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce