As we said in our pictures of the 1998 Parade, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is a delightful spectacle of boat owners with very hefty resources contending to outdo each other.
Turnout of boats seemed a little light this year, probably because I came on the last possible day, December 23rd. The parade is run daily for a week, and some entrants don't visit every day. Fatigue might well have caused this to be a somewhat light day.
As always, there were some extremely impressive entries, but more than one had a whiff of last year about it. Perhaps the economy has made people too busy to re-think entries every year.
This fellow, who has what looks like a 40' Bayliner, still has one of the most awesome entries in the parade. He based it on last year's firm foundation, true, but the light show animation is even more awesome this year than last. Note that all the pictures below are of the same boat - colours change on it just about everywhere.
One of the most spectacular entries of the parade was the return of Grinchmas, which took last year off. You can see an older version in my 1995 Boat Parade Pictures. The live volcano - and no, we're not kidding! - is an especially popular feature with the public.
Here's another entry which looks a bit familiar, but as beautiful an old friend as ever:
Here's a fabulous one I haven't seen even a hint of in earlier parades: a giant, animated bee:
Is the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade a big-money event where
only people who can afford 40 foot yachts and throw $20,000 worth of
lights, stuffed animals and timing electronics on their boats can
Well, actually, no. This kayaker got every bit as big a hand as the big guys.
Of course some people just came here to party ... and they did!
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Images Copyright (C) 1999 David H Dennis - All Rights Reserved