Dates, theme set for Christmas boat parade

The 105th annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is scheduled to take to the waters Dec. 18 to 22 with a theme of "Rockin' around the Christmas Tree," according to a news release.

"The parade is our community's Christmas card to the world and sets the harbor ablaze with twinkling lights and holiday spirit like no other tradition in the country," Steve Rosansky, president and chief executive of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, which hosts the five-night event, said in the release.

Yuletide revelers can also enjoy the Rings of Lights competition as waterfront homes on the 14.7-mile parade route don their best holiday lights and decorations.

The parade of kayaks, canoes and multimillion-dollar yachts, among other watercraft — decorated with lights, moving displays, dancers and more — starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Balboa Village area and ends at 9 p.m. outside Bay Island. The first and last nights feature a fireworks show from the Balboa Pier.

About 1 million visitors annually turn out to see the parade, which Yahoo Travel named the No. 2 "Destination for Holiday Lights" and the New York Times listed as being among the "Top 10 Christmas Happenings in the Nation," according to the release.

Joseph Beek and John Scarpa started the parade, the longest-running lighted Christmas boat parade in the U.S., according to the release.

Other sponsors include Simple Green, Meguiar's and Newport Beach & Co.

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— Jamie Rowe

Twitter: @jamierowe3

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