The Christmas Season in Newport Beach

December is a time for celebration, and few places in the United States capture the Christmas spirit better than Newport BeachNewport Beach is regularly named to national top ten lists of towns with the best Christmas celebrations, and anyone in Newport Beach during the Christmas season can easily see why. With its pristine harbor illuminated in twinkling lights, Fashion Island’s signature fresh 90-foot Christmas tree, and plenty of holiday cheer invigorating residents and visitors alike, it’s a fantastic place to enjoy the holidays.
Here are five can’t-miss Christmas events in Newport Beach
Fashion Island’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is a beautiful and stylish way to commemorate the beginning of the holiday season. The ceremony has a rich tradition, with Fashion Island hosting a large, beautiful fresh Christmas tree nearly every year since Fashion Island opened more than 50 years ago. A 90-foot fresh, fragrant Christmas tree adorns the center of the Neiman Marcus – Bloomingdale’s Courtyard, with an abundance of lights and ornaments artfully cascading down the branches and boughs. 
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The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade is one of the most well-known Christmas events in Southern California. With a rich history spanning 113 years, the Christmas Boat Parade was  named “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times and is watched by over a million people each year. Newport Beach begins its holiday decorating after Thanksgiving, and by the beginning of December Newport Harbor is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland with yachts, sailboats, docks, and entire estates richly trimmed with twinkling lights and colorful decorations.
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The Christmas Boat Parade is organized by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Commodores Club. The parade runs for five consecutive nights, and in 2021 will be held on the evenings of Wednesday, December 15 through Sunday, December 19, 2021. The parade starts at 6:30pm each evening off of Lido Isle, with the parade ending by returning to Lido Isle at approximately 9:00pm. The parade showcases brightly decorated boats outfitted with nativity scenes, Christmas trees, life-size gingerbread houses, and more. More than 150 boats of all shapes and sizes make up the parade, from kayaks to 100-foot super-yachts, with owners spending months decorating. Prizes are given out in a range of categories, including animation and originality. 
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You can view the parade from the shore along the harbor, from one of the many restaurants that line the harbor, or by ship. Along the shore, the 10.5 acre Marina Park is the largest public  viewing area along the parade route and is an optimal location to gather and enjoy the festivities. Boat cruises are offered on parade nights that put you right in the action alongside the brightly decorated yachts, sailboats, kayaks, and canoes as you glide through the harbor past waterfront homes. A detailed map of the parade route is here
Along the parade route, make sure to keep an eye on Balboa Island for the Ring of Lights.” Each holiday season the bayfront properties engage in a friendly holiday home decorating competition. Residents go all out with their holiday spirit, decorating their homes with everything from inflatable characters to dancing Christmas trees. 
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The exquisite Sherman Library & Gardensexudes holiday cheer with their spectacular annual Nights of 1000 Lights in December. During this event, which will be held for 12 nights in 2021, the 2.2 acre horicultural oasis and botanical garden blossoms into a winter wonderland. Visitors enjoy a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family & friends while enjoying a variety of unique holiday delights and a dazzling display of lights in the beautiful and charming setting of the gardens. 
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Another delightful Christmas event is the Crystal Cove Annual Tree Lighting & Holiday Bazaar. The Crystal Cove tree lighting tradition was originally started more than 20 years ago by Crystal Cove Alliance founder Laura Davick, who grew up in Crystal Cove. She began the first annual tree lighting by placing a small Christmas tree on the sand. Today this incredibly charming seaside celebration includes jewelry and handicrafts from local artists, seaglass wrapping, holiday arts & crafts, carolers, and the arrival of Santa Claus on a lifeguard truck. Complimentary hot chocolate and home-baked goodies are provided by the Beachcomber Cafe. 
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