Every year parents get their kids bundled up and they drive them around the different neighborhoods to look at all the Christmas lights on display. This can be great fun and is something that all kids, young and old enjoy doing. There is something else that adds just a touch of more excitement that driving or walking around and looking at static light displays. There is also the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade for those residents of Orange County to attend.
This is a tradition that spans more than a century and was started with boats carrying lanterns that cruised around the harbor. In the years that followed, there were times when the parade was not allowed due to world wars and at one point, too much congestion for commercial boats to clear the area and dock. Other than these few occasions, this parade has been the pride of the community and has been taking place for many more years than most of us have been alive.
Today the tradition lives on and these boaters go to great lengths to offer the biggest and brightest displays. They try to outdo each other and this means that these displays are beautiful to see and can put a huge smile on a child’s face. All of this can be done by simply sitting on the shore and allowing all of the lights to come to you and to your family.
The parade is held from December 15th all the way through December 19th which allows for five days that can be chosen from to watch the parade. There are over one hundred boats with light displays and they travel from Bay Island to Pirate’s Cove and around Balboa Island. There is plenty of parking and restaurants in the parade’s locations for those who would rather be in a warm inside setting rather than staying out doors for the parade. Those who are brave can go watch this parade for free by sitting on the edge of the parade route.
If you are one of the brave souls who would rather watch the lights from the shoreline, you are not alone. Make sure to bundle the family up and bring some lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. It can take a bit of time for that many boats to do the rounds to you could be there for a while. You want the kids to be comfortable while they are being amazed by the brilliant light shows.