The city’s Harbor Department played an expanded role during this year’s annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, officials confirmed this week.
“The Harbor Department was thrilled to take on some additional responsibilities as part of this year’s parade, in addition to the major contributions already being made by parade organizers, volunteers, the OC Sheriff’s Department, and city lifeguards,” Harbormaster Kurt Borsting said in an email on Monday.
As has been the case for the past few years, both the parade’s grand marshal vessel and the parade’s lead vessel (the one with Frosty the Snowman atop) were hosted at the Marina Park long dock, in connection with opening night festivities held at that same location.
Taking on a larger role this year, the Harbor Department staff and new patrol boats were front and center on the parade route, with one serving as one of the parade marshal vessels and the other responding to needs of spectator boats in the harbor, he wrote.
“Being able to serve as one of the parade marshal boats, was a great way for our team to participate in the program,” Borsting noted. “Our team enjoyed the role and we hope to help out again in 2020.”
The marshal boats helped maintain clear and open navigable routes for the decorated boats participating in the program each night.
The Harbor Department welcomed a full house of visiting mariners to Newport Harbor in connection with the parade, as they brought their boats to the city owned and operated guest boat slips at Marina Park or stayed at available off-shore moorings throughout the Harbor, he confirmed.
All 23 guest slips at Marina Park were booked to full capacity throughout the five nights of the program, and 16 other visiting boaters booked stays out in the mooring fields to take in the parade.
On Dec. 18, Harbor Department staff also hosted a “kids’ crafts station” as part of the parade’s opening night festivities held at Marina Park, where children and their families decorated nautical themed holiday ornaments provided by the department.