Holiday Yacht Parades

Let There Be Lights! Holiday yacht parades have been gaining popularity nationwide.

When we hear the word parade, our eyes immediately glass over as base drums and convertibles filled with local politicians crawl through our imagination. Mention a holiday yacht parade however, and now you’ve captured our interest.

From Newport, Rhode Island to Newport Beach, California and Palm Beach, Florida to Patchogue, New York, communities nationwide are decorating their boats and taking part in holiday light parades. As is the case with any holiday decorating endeavor, some boats end up beautifully balanced, while others adorn their bows with a terrifying number of blow up figures.

One can argue that the most impressive holiday yacht parade is Newport Beach’s Christmas Boat Parade, and for good reason. With 103 years of practice, town officials are expecting more than a million people to come out and observe the parade, which is held over five nights. In years past, the fierce competition between participants have driven some to spend upwards of $50,000 in lights and decorations. Who spends that kind of money on lights and what do they do when one of those pesky little bulbs go out? We haven’t a clue. As long as the nautical Clark Griswold's of the world continue to festively decorate their boats, we'll continue to cheer.

Click "next" to see more boats decorated for the season!
Photos courtesy of

These lights may not help the crew catch fish but they certainly capture our attention.

John Matthews claimed third place in the Best Lights category for his beautifully balanced boat in the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

This is one patriotic picture we would never tire of seeing.

Even the Orange County Sheriff's Department joined in on the fun.