While most boats across the country are on the dry dock for the winter, Newport Beach hosts a flotilla of kayaks, sailboats, and yachts embellished with everything from lights to fire to dancing lobsters.
The Newport Beach Christmas Boat parade has been around for almost 100 years and 1 million people line the harbor to watch it each year.
The Newport Sea Base sells lawn seating and parking to the pubic while the Sea Scout Ships Del Mar, Triton, and Renegades sell concessions to raise money for their programs.
This year, Renegades sold an assortment of baked goods, hot cider, and glow sticks to the eager and slightly frozen spectators while Del Mar supplied the hot dogs and popcorn.
Around 8pm, the sounds of Christmas caroling and shouts of Happy Holidays proceeded the first boat to pass the sea base. Spectators were delighted by the synchronized music and lights on many of the yachts that summed to over $50,000 for some owners.
Renegades took a group of veterans out on Sunday on their program vessel Dare and followed the boat parade around the harbor and enjoyed the fireworks to celebrate the closure of the event.
Besides these festivities, the Sea Scouts of Newport Beach also held their annual festive Holiday Party on, Wednesday December 11th. There was a crazy socks gift exchange in keeping with the random item gift exchange tradition. The entire group pitched in and brought delicious refreshments. In addition, quarterdeck nominations both for the Sea Scout ships Renegades #90 and Triton #1767 occurred.
In addition, the Newport Sea Base Youth Racing Team participated in the second edition of the Sunkist Series off the pristine coastline of southern California. Despite engine complications in the morning, the team persevered and made the start. The wind failed us yet again and we were left bobbing in the Pacific Ocean.
However, we did enjoy a stunning sunset.
As the temperature dropped, so did a lot of boats. We regretfully decided to join them and made our way back into the harbor with the rest of the boats.
We are looking forward to the third Sunkist race this Sunday January 5th.