The American Legion Yacht Club in Newport Beach is once again setting sail around Newport Harbor for their annual Old Glory Boat Parade on Sunday, July 4 at 1:00PM. American Legion Post 291 member and former assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster (Ret) has been named Grand Marshal.
The theme this year is “Let Freedom Ring,” and entrants are encouraged to decorate their boats to celebrate this theme, which was an unanimous choice from ALYC leadership. “As we started planing this event, we felt we needed a theme that got us away from the discussion of the pandemic,” said ALTC Commodore Bruce Batcheller. “As military veterans, this one just stood out to us. We obviously all signed up to defend and protect our freedom at home and abroad, but we all feel like we now have freedom from this pandemic that has gripped us for the last 16 months.”
Leading the parade will be the ALYC club boat Valor, followed by two VIP boats that will be filled with active duty servicemembers and veterans. “We are especially honored to have General McMaster join us in the parade this year. He represents all that is great about this country through his faithful service of 34 years in the Army, and his leadership and commitment to those who served with him,” said Commodore Batcheller.
During his tenure as the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center and deputy commanding general of the US Army Training Doctrine Command, he designed the future army capabilities and was repeatedly hailed for his forward-thinking and extraordinary service. He is also the author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World. He retired from military service in 2018.
The parade will begin at 1:00pm off the east end of Lido Island and follow a course throughout the harbor between the hours of 1:00pm and 3:30pm, offering everyone a chance to enjoy the parade.
All boaters are invited to decorate their vessels and participate in the parade. Registration is free and available online through the American Legion Yacht Club website (www.alyc.com) where a map of the parade route, approximate viewing times, and more information is also available. Participants will compete for class awards such as Best Decorated, Finest Costumes, Most Creative, and the Commodore’s Award, with class winners to be announced at an Awards Banquet on Sunday, July 18 at 6:00 pm.
“We are really encouraging local boaters to join us for the parade,” added Commodore Batcheller. “It’s a lot of fun, and a very fulfilling event to see the community appreciate the effort to decorate your boat and celebrate our nation’s independence in style. For the general public, we hope you include the parade as part of your day. It’s a can’t miss opportunity to celebrate with your friends and family.”
Celebrating almost 70 years, the Old Glory Parade began very casually in the 1950’s as the Character Boat Parade and as the years passed, the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce took the helm, changed the theme, and built her into a grand parade. Today, hailed as one of California’s largest longest-running patriotic boat parades, this annual happening is sponsored by the American Legion Yacht Club and is free to watch from most public beaches, docks, and boardwalks throughout the scenic harbor area.
Please visit www.alyc.com for more information.