A rockin' theme for boat parade

This year's Christmas party hop will be "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and the theme for the 105th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

The event committee recently held a public contest for theme suggestions and received 160 submissions. Two local residents, Judy Candelaria and Michelle Stranak, both sent in an identical idea and "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" was selected.

Previous themes have included "Feelin' Christmas-Sea in Newport Beach!" in 2011, "A Holiday Beach Celebration" in 2003 and last year's theme of "Surf, Sand and Santa!"

The boat parade will take place at 6:30 p.m. each night for five nights from Dec. 18 to Dec. 22 and will stretch along a 14.7-mile route around Newport Harbor.

Some boat owners have spent more than $50,000 to decorate their vessels for the event, organizers said.

Candelaria and her husband, Louis, have watched the parade every year since moving from Chicago 22 years ago and family members travel to Newport Beach to celebrate in the tradition.

Stranak's family including her five grandchildren will be joining her and her husband, Steven, to watch this year's parade, she said.

As winners of the theme contest, Candelaria and Stranak will enjoy V.I.P. seating inside the official lead or Santa Boat for an evening during the week's festivities.

For more information on the Christmas Boat Parade visit http://www.ChristmasBoatParade.com or contact the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce at (949) 729-4400.

— Annie Kim

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