The 109th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights kicks off tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with a special fireworks display by Newport Pier at 6:15 p.m. Tens of thousands of viewers will watch the gorgeous yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes between Dec. 13 – 17 as the vessels sail across the calm waters of the bay.
The event is hosted by the Commodores Club of Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and will kick off at the 10.5-acre Marina Park on Balboa Peninsula. The park has 177 parking spaces (though don’t expect to find one tomorrow night), a nautical-themed playground, picnic area, outdoor gym, a cafe with beer, champagne and slightly overpriced dishes and of course, offers open space to view the boats. Marina Park may be crowded tomorrow night, though, so we recommend checking out other viewing locations:
For an adults-only viewing party, get on Open Table and make a reservation at a Zinqué, a French restaurant in Lido Marina Village serving small plates. Zinqué offers gorgeous, unobstructed views of Newport Bay and has the chic outdoor patio has ample heat lamps to keep you warm when temperatures dip tomorrow night. Trust us, the Christmas Boat Parade is so much better with wine.
Opening night will see The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Vicky Gunvalson as Grand Marshal and on closing night Dec. 17, the Grand Marshals will be members of the USC Trojans’ Marching Band; a 6:30 fireworks show will take place at Balboa Pier.
Parking throughout the five-day event will be available in all City of Newport Beach parking lots but we recommend getting to Lido or Balboa Peninsula early to nab street parking while you can. The parade is expected to draw thousands of people each night, so allow extra time to find a spot and maybe download a good podcast or two to calm you down. (Seriously, give yourself up to an hour to park your car.)
Call (949) 729-4400 for more information.