Holidays

The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Gets Its Theme

The sparkly and celebrated five-night event will glimmer again in mid-December 2021.

Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

What to Know

  • "Jingle on the Waves" is the 2021 theme
  • Dec. 15-19, 2021
  • Free to see, but several restaurants and boat companies take dinner or viewing reservations (book well in advance)

Friends, it is not, repeat, not time for Christmas just yet.

Not nearly, not even close, stow the stockings and unhand the candy canes.

But no one, not even the frowniest of Grinches, is going to stop you from thinking festive thoughts, making merry plans, and understanding this: Some of Southern California's best-known seasonal events, after taking a year off in 2020 due to the pandemic closures, will be popular.

As in very popular, which leads us to say this following statement as strongly as the Grinch blows his horn as he's sledding triumphantly back into Whoville: You'll want to book any spots, seats, or reservations soon-ish, and by soon-ish we mean now-ish, or at least in the coming weeks-ish.

Take the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, one of our country's oldest on-the-water holiday celebrations. Organizers canceled the 2020 event, but the gussied-up vessels will return, in bright and glittering form, in December 2021.

Which means this: If you're planning to do dinner by the water, or find your way onto a boat, all the better to see the over-the-top spectacular from a closer vantage point, you may want to look into those reservations or tickets soon.

For the famous Pacific-based procession just announced its 2021 theme, and it is as cheerful as you might expect: "Jingle on the Water" will serve as the thematic inspiration to people festooning their ships, kayaks, and ferries.

The dates? You'll want to find a bit of shoreline with a view of the water or, again, reservations or a spot on a nearby boat, on Dec. 15, 16, 17, 18, or 19.

As is tradition, this big-big-big boat parade sails over five nights.

It's year 113, as in a century plus 13 years, for this stately showing of decorated watercraft. Several prizes will be awarded to the most creatively dressed crafts, so you can bet that boat owners truly go the dazzling distance.

"After this past year, we are all eager to celebrate the positivity, happiness, and excitement of the season, and to welcome the return of a beloved Newport Beach tradition, made even more special with our first-ever community selected theme," shared Steve Rosansky, President of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

"We look forward to gathering together once again to safely celebrate the season and the spirit of our great city."

For more information on the parade, steer your own keel to the official Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade site. For dining spots near where all of the illuminated action takes place, peruse this list of viewing restaurants now and contact individual eateries you are interested in visiting.