It's almost time for the 103rd Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, a longtime SoCal favorite that is now being hailed as one of the best holiday extravaganzas in the country.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the boat parade will set sail in Newport Harbor Harbor, showcasing about 100 intricately decorated yachts, boats, kayaks and canoes for five nights. The parade, which charts a 14-mile route through the harbor, runs every evening through Sunday, Dec. 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Every year, the boat parade attracts close to a million visitors to Newport Beach, and it was recently named by Yahoo! Travel as one of the nation's top 10 destinations for holiday lights.
Yahoo rated the parade No. 2 on its list, trailing New York City but ahead of Walt Disney World.
“The Christmas Boat Parade illustrates many of the qualities that make Newport Beach a terrific place to live or visit: the active harbor, beautiful scenery - and the holiday spirit, sense of community and fun found throughout our town," Mayor Mike Henn told Patch.
The parade can be viewed for free from public waterfront areas on the Balboa Peninsula and Balboa Island, as well as from several waterfront establishments along the route. Check the boat parade website for viewing information. A fireworks show - launched from the Balboa Pier - will wrap up the boat parade on Sunday at 9 p.m.