Visit Newport Beach launches ‘50 Days of Festive Fun’ tourism campaign

Boats are seen from the Balboa Island Bridge.
Boats are seen from the Balboa Island Bridge during the opening day of the 114th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade in 2022. The parade is one of a number of events that the “50 Days of Festive Fun” campaign seeks to highlight this holiday season.
(File Photo)

So many holiday events are planned in Newport Beach over the coming weeks that the city’s tourism arm has curated them into a “50 Days of Festive Fun” campaign to attract travelers.

The nonprofit Visit Newport Beach kicked the marketing effort off Friday with the annual lighting of the 90-foot tree in the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s courtyard at Fashion Island.

“Whether it’s the tree lighting at Fashion Island, or the hotels and the events that take place at the Newport Dunes or the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk, Sherman Gardens, [Newport Beach has] all these events and have never pulled them together in a cohesive fashion,” Gary Sherwin, chief executive and president of Visit Newport, said in an interview this week.


“We have so many things, and of course, the crown jewel is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade,” he continued. “So, we said, ‘Let’s work together to take all of these assets, which we think have great appeal, and create a longstanding holiday-based program that leverages these events and allows them to play off one another.’

Some research revealed that local hotels see business slow down during the late fall and early winter in the beach town, Sherwin said, and they told Visit Newport they could use a boost in guests through the first week of January. He and his team also learned that Puerto Rico has a similar holiday marketing campaign, “la Navidad,” which lasts around 45 days.

The decision was made to run the Newport Beach campaign for a full 50 days, Sherwin said.

“Every single day, there will be different programming that has a holiday theme. Depending on when you come to Newport Beach, you will see some aspect of Christmas or the holidays in general.”

The hope is, as the campaign continues, that Visit Newport Beach will be able to fill any gaps in programming, he explained. That might include things like sessions at Fashion Island, where experts may talk about the newest, trending items or what people seem to be interested in for the holiday season.

The campaign also includes a mapped out “holiday trail” for visitors and residents to follow.

“For the most part, these events already exist, and they’ve all existed independently, and we think that by bringing them together and creating critical mass, we have a better story to tell and greater appeal,” Sherwin said.

“I don’t know if the world at large knows the level of commitment we make to the holiday season. They know about the Christmas boat parade, but we have so many things beyond that,” he added. “We really want to make ourselves the epicenter for all Christmas and holiday activities in the United States.”

The “50 Days of Festive Fun” calendar, including everything from ice skating to toy drives to photos with Santa, can be found at