Official Statement from the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
(Newport Beach, California) – After diligent, thoughtful and thorough consultation with City of Newport Beach officials, our Parade committee members, Chamber Commodores Club, Board of Directors and health professionals, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce has made the painful but prudent decision to cancel this year’s 112th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. We realize this decision has impacts on many levels for our sponsors, businesses, residents, visitors to our community and especially our dedicated boat owners and home participants. It is one of the most cherished traditions in Newport Beach, relying upon hundreds of donated volunteer hours and expertise and has become a signature event in Southern California.
Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill recognized the difficult decision by the Chamber to cancel the Parade this year. “I know how much the tradition of the Boat Parade means to the Chamber, the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City. Even so, the Chamber is to be commended for their leadership and sacrifice. I look forward to a bigger and better celebration in 2021.”
The decision to cancel was not made lightly. Clearly, many people will be disappointed, including us. Unfortunately, these are unprecedented times and the deep impact from COVID19 has affected almost every large event in Southern California and around the nation, including parades and festivals. Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steven Rosansky noted, “It was our hope that conditions would improve or at least remain static. However, looking at what is happening across the country, as well as in our own backyard, that is simply not the case. Governor Newsom made it clear at his recent press conference that conditions are worsening across the State of California and that we need to put on the “emergency brake” to slow the spread of coronavirus.”
One bright spot is that the sister event to the Parade, The Rings of Lights, will still go forward. Homeowners around the harbor who decorate their homes and enter will still be judged and eligible to win in a number of categories. The winners will be announced on December 15th. For more information on how to enter the Ring of Lights, visit www.christmasboatparade.com.
Parade Co-Chair, Larry Smith reflected on the meaning of the Boat Parade, “The Parade has a century long tradition of being Newport Beach’s “Christmas Card to the World.” This year, our message must clearly reflect the safety and well being of all concerned. To all our partners, participants and supporters of this rich holiday tradition, we hope you will agree.”
Marie Case, Skipper of the Commodores Club, stated, “We want to thank all of those boaters who have signed up for the Parade and the Boat Parade Committee volunteers for all the time and effort they have already invested in this year’s Parade. The spirit of our Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade tradition will be felt this year as lights shine for the holiday season around the harbor and will shine even more brightly in 2021.”
For more information, please contact the Chamber at 949-729-4400 or visit www.christmasboatparade.com.
The ongoing mission of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic opportunity through business and community leadership and to enhance the social and civic environment of Newport Beach. The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is a business in existence since 1907 – an organization of over 600 members representing thousands of employees who believe in the importance of creating a sense of community among local businesses. Our members are from every industry, large and small, old and new, from home based business just starting out to very large businesses with thousands of employees.