A Parade of Holiday Boat Parades Along the Coast

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The Palos Verdes Peninsula Holiday Parade of Lights in the city of Rolling Hills Estates is on my radar for Saturday night and the weather looks marvelous for the evening. Once again, I will be co-hosting the parade with announcing veteran Michelle Swanson for the live TV broadcast airing on Cox Communications.

Now, I know that I am co-hosting a landlubber’s parade and not a boat parade. However, last year there was a boat towed in the parade, so there is my link to boating. We will be situated in front of the Peninsula Center Library, and there will be a PA system for the crowd lining the street to hear us announce each parade participant.

“We are anticipating over 6,000 spectators watching the parade this year,” Andy Clark,  the city’s community services director, told me. He continued, “There are over a couple of hundred parade entries registered for Saturday night, and numerous marching bands to entertain the crowd.”

As I was reading the parade script, I am excited to see racing legend Parnelli Jones is the Grand Marshal. So, if you are in the South Bay then stop by tomorrow, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. along Silver Spur Road in Rolling Hills Estates, and the parade finishes after traveling through the Promenade on the Peninsula shopping mall between 7:30 and 8 p.m. This is a marvelous family event, and everyone please remember to dress warm.

While on the topic of parades, let’s take a look at the boat parades in Orange County’s three harbors and the harbors in our neighboring counties. Let’s begin at the southernmost Pacific harbor in the continental United States, with the 40th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. This spectacular parade will be held on two nights, Sunday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 18, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Oh, let’s not forget the fireworks at 5:30 p.m. before the start of the parade each evening.

Leaving San Diego harbor heading north, you will find both the Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights and the Oceanside Harbor Christmas Boat Parade of Lights to be held on the same night, Dec. 10. Further up the coast, we have the Dana Point Parade of Lights on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9 and 10, and again Dec. 16 and 17.

The crème de la crème of all boat parades – and recently named the No. 2 event for holiday lights in the nation by Yahoo travel (http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-40883953) – is our own Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The parade – also rated as one of the Top 10 holiday events in the nation, with more than 1 million viewers – is hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

I will be retuning nightly to announce from the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum on the Balboa Peninsula, where you can hear and watch the parade in the Fun Zone area. The museum is an excellent venue to watch from under a huge tent that is free and open to the public except for a private reception on Thursday – I hope they let me in. Come join me at the parade that will cruise by nightly from Dec. 14 through 18 at 6:30 p.m., and you can see more information at www.ChristmasBoatParade.com.

Still going north, Huntington Harbour – and yes, it is spelled “harbour,” so no emails, please – is a great parade put on by the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee and set for Dec. 10.

Continuing on our northerly trek, the next parade scheduled is Naples Island Annual Holiday Boat Parade on Dec. 11.

Not to be left in the cold, little King Harbor will host its Christmas Boat Parade on Dec. 10. You remember that King Harbor lies just north of Palos Verdes Peninsula in Redondo Beach? However, to the north of King Harbor is Mission Bay with its Christmas Boat Parade of Lights on Dec. 10.

We can continue with the more parades across the nation, but I will save that for my radio show.

Tip of week is the U.S. Geological Survey will be conducting oceanographic instrument deployment off Newport Beach until Dec.1. Keep an extra eye out when you are in the areas of 33-34.342N 117-50.690W for a yellow surface buoy 1 meter in diameter by 2 meter tall with a flashing amber light at .5 seconds on/ 3.5 seconds off, and 33-33.567N 117-51.428W with a yellow surface buoy 2.5 meter in diameter by 2 meter tall with a flashing amber light at .5 seconds on/3.5 seconds off. This affects chart 18746 to plot on your paper chart or in your GPS.

And don’t forget: Tune in to the No. 1 boating radio talk show in the nation, Capt. Mike Whitehead’s Boathouse Radio Show, broadcasting coast-to-coast on the CRN Digital Talk Radio syndicated network every Saturday at noon, Pacific Time and replayed on Sunday at 10 am Pacific. Join Chandler Bell, Craig Carpenter, and me as we talk about “all things boating.” You can find the station listings, cable TV channels, live streaming on the Internet, and now available are apps to listen to the show for your iPhone, Blackberry, Itouch, Android, Palm, and Windows Mobile at www.BoathouseTV.com or www.BoathouseRadio.com.

Until next week, Safe Voyages!

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  1. Mike … this is a wonderful article, thank you. i heard you announcing the start to the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race back in 2007 (before i started sailing.) seeing that start and hearing you announce inspired me to start sailing. geese, i’ve now logged over 8,000 miles …. many thanks. if time permits, please join us at BCYC during the boat parade week. we’d love to have you .. tom

  2. Ahoy Gentlemen, thanks for the kind words the race with the changes should start to see the racers and guests numbers increase. The Coral is a great resort and I know it well. Tom, just let me know when to visit BCYC and I try my best to join in. Safe Voyages, Capt. Mike Whitehead, host of the Boathouse Radio Show and Boating Columnist.