Mickey Mouse, Olympians, Entertainers, Marching Band and Heroes Lead The Parade
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, the nation’s longest running lighted holiday boat parade, cruises into its 108th year of annually electrifying the Newport Beach Harbor during five consecutive nights, December 14-18, 2016, with beautifully decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes, and a sparkling line-up of Grand Marshals including Mickey Mouse.
Drawing millions of visitors annually, the iconic Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is the largest harbor parade in California. Hosted by The Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, the boat parade features approximately 100 festive entries motoring along a 14 miles course to give viewers in restaurants, yacht clubs, on public beaches, and in private homes a sight that has become a cherished tradition for residents and visitors for over a century. Serving as the backdrop for the parade, the “Ring of Lights” waterfront-decorating contest sparks a cheerful and competitive spirit amongst residents and businesses. With its own judged categories and prizes awarded, the “Ring of Lights” has become as celebrated as the boat parade itself.
The parade begins at Bay Island at 6:30 p.m. and ends at the same site at approximately 9 p.m. each evening. The route offers multiple viewing spots around the harbor for residents and visitors to enjoy for free, and a number of restaurants around town offering beautiful harbor views from their dining rooms.
Marina Park, which opened last year, will once again provide ample space to view this year’s parade. The new 10.5-acre recreational center welcomes parade-goers with family-friendly activities each night. A full map with all viewing locations and corresponding times can be found online here.
In addition to the boat parade, this year features a special charity event to benefit the American Childhood Cancer Organization. For the first time, the organization’s National Golden Ribbon Awareness Tree will be erected on the west coast in Newport Beach’s Marina Park. The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and Newport Beach & Company are teaming up to make a significant donation to the group.
The Christmas Boat Parade, which has been hailed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times, is truly a holiday tradition for all ages. The parade continues to be a premier event during the holiday season in Southern California that brings joy and happiness to all who view it.
With a wide variety of participating vessels, the festively-decorated yachts, dinghies and kayaks vie for the top prize in categories including Best Animation/Special Effects, Best Humor/Originality, Best Music and, of course, Best Lights.
Exciting festivities include fireworks and an amazing all-star Grand Marshal line-up as follows:
- Wednesday, Dec. 14 – Mickey Mouse, from the Disneyland Resort. The Disneyland Resort’s magical Main Street Electrical Parade – which will be returning to the Anaheim park for a limited run in early 2017 – is celebrated on the opening night of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade as Mickey Mouse and the resort’s Ambassador serve as Grand Marshals for that evening. The Disneyland Resort also is kicking off the boat parade with its own colorful Main Street Electrical Parade-themed boat, sure to delight the locals and visitors who cherish the sights and sounds of the famous parade. Two traditions combine to create one of the most sparkling Christmas presents ever!
- Fireworks help to kick off this year’s event and can be seen lighting the sky over the Newport Beach Pier at about 6:15 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 15 – Salute to Local Olympians. The official Grand Marshal boat leads the parade with five Southern Californian USA Olympians: Misty May-Treanor, winner of three straight gold medals for volleyball; water polo gold medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist; water polo gold medalist Maddie Musselman; two-time water polo gold medalist Courtney Mathewson; and three-time water polo Olympian and silver medalist Merrill Moses.
- Friday, Dec. 16 – “The Voice” Season Contestants. Alumni from the hit NBC show “The Voice” lead Friday night’s spectacular. The former contestants include Nick Hagelin, an award-winning singer/songwriter whose voice and spirit earned him a strong run on Season 10; Peyton Parker – a contestant on Season 10 where she earned a three chair turn and a spot on Team Blake; Paxton Ingram, a finalist from Season 10 known for his hit Recover; Kylie Rothfield whose music is called unique, honest, and expressive; Adam Wakefield, from Season 10, whose performances have been called ‘all country, all soul, all the gospel of rock ‘n’ roll; and Will Champlin from Season 5, a musician with an extensive resume including playing piano on Michael Jackson’s last record.
- Saturday, Dec. 17 – A Special Salute to Hometown Heroes. The closing night performance of the spectacular boat parade features a salute to the Newport Beach local heroes – those first-responders and lifesavers who serve our local communities. Leading the parade will be Newport Beach’s Firefighter of the Year Jeremiah Martin, Police Officer of the Year Roland Stucken and Lifeguard of the Year Alex Brandt.
- Sunday, Dec. 18 – Members of USC Trojan Marching Band. A perennial crowd-pleaser for their performances and showmanship, this night’s Grand Marshal duties are given to “The Spirit of Troy” — the most dynamic and innovative collegiate band in the nation. Named among the 8 best marching bands in the country by USA Today, the USC band provides tireless support of USC athletic teams and leaves crowds cheering wherever they perform. Cheer as this spirited group leads the season’s final night of the parade, and help kick off the closing night’s fireworks
“Our Christmas Boat Parade has become an honored tradition for over one hundred years now, and it just keeps getting bigger and more spectacular,” remarks Steve Rosansky, president and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. “We have a terrific line-up of Grand Marshals, fireworks for our opening and closing nights, and millions of sparkling lights across our beautiful harbor.”
Presenting sponsors of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights are Simple Green and Meguiar’s, and Community Sponsors are the City of Newport Beach and Visit Newport Beach, Inc., with marketing and promotional support from Newport Beach & Company. For more information about the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, please visit www.christmasboatparade.com.
Boaters interested in participating in the parade can find out more information at www.christmasboatparade.com.
About the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is a business organization of almost 800 members representing over 20,000 employees. The Chamber, with its five councils, committees, staff and valuable members, works with city officials, local businesses and the community at large to promote the local economy. More information can be found at www.newportbeach.com.
About the Commodores Club
The Commodores Club is a council comprised of actively involved members of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce providing leadership, organization and fundraising support on business, social and community special events that promote the overall mission of the Chamber.
About Newport Beach & Company
Founded in November 2012, Newport Beach & Co. is a non-profit organization established to serve as the official marketing agency for the city of Newport Beach. The agency brings together all of the marketing entities connected to the Newport Beach brand, and is designed to oversee separate business units that include Visit Newport Beach, Dine Newport Beach, Celebrate Newport Beach, Enterprise Newport Beach and Newport Beach TV. Additionally, Newport Beach & Co. includes the Newport Beach Foundation focused on creative charitable endeavors that support the business community. For more information, please visit www.visitnewportbeach.com.
Newport Beach & Company