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Newport Beach

Volume 5, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020

Chamber announces that the 2020 Boat Parade is sunk by COVID-19 concerns

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce issued a statement Wednesday announcing that “after diligent, thoughtful and thorough consultation with City of Newport Beach officials, our Parade committee members, Chamber Commodores Club, Board of Directors and health professionals, (we have) made the painful but prudent decision to cancel this year’s 112th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. We realize this decision has impacts on many levels for our sponsors, businesses, residents, visitors to our community and especially our dedicated boat owners and home participants. It is one of the most cherished traditions in Newport Beach, relying upon hundreds of donated volunteer hours and expertise and has become a signature event in Southern California.”

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill recognized the difficult decision, “I know how much the tradition of the Boat Parade means to the Chamber, the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City. Even so, the Chamber is to be commended for their leadership and sacrifice. I look forward to a bigger and better celebration in 2021.” 

The Chamber acknowledges that the decision to cancel was not made lightly saying, “Clearly, many people will be disappointed, including us. Unfortunately, these are unprecedented times and the deep impact from COVID-19 has affected almost every large event in Southern California and around the nation, including parades and festivals.”

Chamber announces Two are Better than

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Bleu Cotton Photography

“Two Are Better Than One” by Kyle Miller took home the honors for ‘Best Boat Under 30 Feet’ in a previous Christmas Boat Parade

Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steven Rosansky noted, “It was our hope that conditions would improve or at least remain static. However, looking at what is happening across the country, as well as in our own backyard, that is simply not the case. Governor Newsom made it clear at his recent press conference that conditions are worsening across the State of California and that we need to put on the ‘emergency brake’ to slow the spread of coronavirus.”

One bright spot is that the sister event to the Parade, The Rings of Lights, will still proceed. Residences on the harbor’s perimeter who decorate and enter will still be judged and eligible to win in a number of categories. 

Those winners will be announced on December 15th. Homes interested in registering for the Ring of Lights can go to

Parade Co-Chair Larry Smith reflected on the meaning of the Boat Parade, “(It) has a century long tradition of being Newport Beach’s Christmas Card to the World. This year our message must clearly reflect the safety and well-being of all concerned.” 

Marie Case, Skipper of the Commodores Club, said, “We want to thank all of those boaters who have signed up for the Parade and the Boat Parade Committee volunteers for all the time and effort they have already invested in this year’s Parade. The spirit of our Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade tradition will be felt this year as lights shine for the holiday season around the harbor and will shine even more brightly in 2021.”

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