Home Orange City - Orange County California Resources
Orange County

Newport Harbor Parade

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade
Newport Beach, CA
This seasonal event is held every December

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade stated in the early 1900s when Venetian gondolier John Scarpa put lights on eight canoes and his gondola. Scarpa might be surprised at what his simple act has spawned, with some entrants in today's Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade spending over $50,000 to decorate their vessels for the event. It's a popular local tradition, but the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade has also been ranked one of the country's top holiday happenings by the New York Times.

Watching the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade from Land

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade starts at Collins Island at 6:30 p.m. each evening and finishes at the same spot. It runs for five days in mid-December, Wednesday through Sunday. The boats follow a longer route on the weekend, taking about two and a half hours to make their rounds on Wednesday and Thursday and three hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The bay front is a great place to watch the show of passing lights reflecting off the water. The parade route goes generally along the inner edges of the bay and circles Balboa Island. These are some of the places where you can watch it:

  • On the bay side of Balboa Peninsula from 18th Street to the end of Bay Avenue
  • Anywhere along the water on Balboa Island
  • Along Pacific Coast Highway between Balboa Bay Club and Riverside Drive
  • Along the water on Lido Isle. Boats go into the channel on the west end of the island only on weekends
Orange County Travel Guide
© Copyright orange-city.org All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.