If you’re visiting friends and family in Southern California during the holiday season, you might want to take in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. We may have our tree lighting ceremony in Portland, but this is something a little bit unique!

Beginning on December 15th and ending on Sunday December 19th Newport Harbor will be the scene of some of the most spectacularly decorated boasts, yachts, kayaks and canoes as the 102 annual parade gets underway.  In some years as many as 75 boats take part.

For those familiar with the area, the parade starts off Bay Island at 6:30 pm and finishes at the same site at approximately 9:00 pm each evening, over the course of five days.

Most of the entrants do not simply adorn their boats with “just” lights.  Many include animated Christmas scenes, music and living carolers.

The Christmas Boat Parade has been listed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times, and is truly quite amazing.  With family in the area, we have attended the parade a number of times and can tell you it is worth the visit.

For more information about the event, including its history, sponsors and past winners, (with photos), visit there official website at Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.