Entrants Wanted for the Annual July 4 Old Glory Boat Parade in Newport Harbor

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July 4 Old Glory Boat Parade 2023 / photo by Lawrence Sherwin

Whether you have a beautiful luxury yacht or a luxurious Duffy boat, it’s time to decorate your watercraft and participate in the annual Old Glory Boat Parade on Thursday, July 4, beginning at 1 p.m.

This is part of the three-day American Legion Newport Harbor Post 291 Centennial event, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

This year’s theme is “Stars, Stripes, and Sails,” so it shouldn’t be too difficult to decorate boats to celebrate this theme.

Leading the parade will be the American Legion Yacht Club boat Valor with Grand Marshal Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, followed by VIP boats filled with active duty servicemembers and veterans.

According to the American Legion Yacht Club, participation in this all-volunteer boat parade is an extension of the celebration of volunteers and community programs for the betterment of Newport Beach and surrounding communities.

The parade will begin at 1 p.m. off the east end of Lido Island and follow a course similar to the Christmas Boat Parade that circumnavigates the harbor until it concludes at 3:30 p.m.

July 4 Old Glory Boat Parade 2023 / photo by Lawrence Sherwin

All boaters are invited to decorate their vessels and participate in the parade. Registration is free and available online at the American Legion Yacht Club website at www.alyc.com. There will be skipper meetings on Friday, June 28 and Tuesday, July 2 for those interested in joining in the parade.

Participants will compete for class awards such as Best Decorated, Finest Costumes, Most Creative, and the Commodore’s Award, with class winners to be announced at an Awards Banquet on Sunday, July 16 at 5:30 pm.

“We are encouraging local boaters to join us for the parade,” said Commodore David Campagnari. “It’s a lot of fun and a very fulfilling event to see the community appreciate the effort to decorate your boat and celebrate our nation’s independence in style. For the general public, we hope you include the parade as part of your day. Celebrating with your friends and family is a can’t-miss opportunity.”

July 4 Old Glory Boat Parade 2023 / photo by Lawrence Sherwin

The Old Glory Boat Parade began in the 1950s as the Character Boat Parade. As the years passed, the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce took the helm, changed the theme, and built the event into a grand parade. Today it’s hailed as one of California’s largest, longest-running patriotic boat parades.

The parade is free to watch from most public beaches, docks, and boardwalks throughout the scenic harbor area—including Balboa Island, always a popular destination on July 4. Parking on July 4 can be tricky almost anywhere in Newport Beach, especially on Balboa Peninsula, so arrive early.

Please visit www.alyc.com for more information about the boat parade and   www.al291.com for information about the three-day Centennial Celebration.

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