Thursday, December 11, 2008

New York City May Have a Lock on East Coast Christmas Celebrations, But Southern California Boasts the Oldest Holiday Boat Parade in the U.S.

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York City can proudly boast of such holiday traditions as the Christmas tree and ice rink at Rockefeller Center and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, in Southern California the season may not be snowy and white but, to paraphrase Irving Berlin, it is always merry and bright thanks in part to the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, the oldest holiday boat parade in the U.S., celebrating its centennial with the theme of "100 Years of Christmas Cheer" this holiday season.

In "The OC" where trends and fads come and go as quickly as jets at LAX, the fashionable resort destination of Newport Beach is ready to mark the 2008 holiday season with the centennial of its impressive procession, adding a uniquely west coast twist to the array of annual holiday traditions in the U.S. Called "One of the top holiday happenings in the nation" by The New York Times, the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is the most elaborate on-the-water holiday spectacle in the country, delighting generations since 1908.

There are well over 20 holiday boat parades from coast to coast across the nation but the Newport Beach water-borne pageant trumps them all for remaining popular over the past ten decades. The parade has been described as the aquatic equivalent to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

The 100th edition of this iconic Southern California holiday event kicks off on Wednesday, December 17 (with an inaugural fireworks display) and continues through Sunday, December 21 at 6:30pm each evening in Newport Harbor. The procession winds its way 14 miles around the harbor (one of the largest small yacht harbors in the world) to give viewers in restaurants, yacht clubs, on public beaches, and in private homes an incredible sight. The parade is expected to again attract an audience of over one million spectators during the five consecutive evenings. For more information on where to find the best views of the parade, go to or

The colorful, twinkling parade features an armada of nearly 100 kayaks, canoes, impressive yachts and other watercrafts. Many of the yachts are decorated with whimsical animated scenes accompanied by music and costumed carolers, plus every conceivable lighting fixture or illuminated decoration.

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