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.
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 three local water polo USA Olympians who grew up in Southern California: gold medalist Kaleigh Gilchrist; two-time gold medalist Courtney Mathewson; and three-time Olympian and silver medalist Merrill Moses.
Friday, Dec. 16 – “The Voice” Season Contestants: Alumni from the hit NBC singing show “The Voice” lead Friday night’s spectacular. The former contestants include Nick Hagelin, an award-winning singer/songwriter whose soulful voice and loving 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; and Kylie Rothfield whose music was called unique, honest, and expressive.
Saturday, Dec. 17 – 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.
Sunday, Dec. 18 – 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. Cheer as these selfless professionals lead the season’s final night of the parade, and help kick off the closing night’s fireworks show.