There are worst ways to spend a holiday evening than on a yacht called Just Dreamin’ in sweater-and-scarf-perfect weather enjoying the Newport Beach Boat Parade while sipping champagne and dining on crab claws, shrimp and filet mignon. Our host for the viewing cruise was the Greater Palm Springs CVB. And, yes, you don’t see a lot of boats in the Coachella Valley, but as Rick Blackburn, the CVB’s vice president of convention sales & destination services explained the choice of venue, “The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a wonderful historic and fun event. It provided the perfect opportunity to thank our meetings and travel trade clients during the holiday season.”
The boat parade is more than a century old. It began in 1907 when an Italian gondolier joined with the founder of the Balboa Ferry line to launch what they called the Tournament of Lights. Now, in its 106th year, the procession is called the Newport Beach Boat Parade and features some 100 illuminated vessels contending for Ring of Lights honors.
Here are some sights from a memorable night.