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Lighted Boat Parade Makes Central Oregon Coast Glow December 3
(Newport, Oregon) – It's the big kick-off to the holiday season in the central Oregon coast harbor town of Newport, as the 18th annual Lighted Boat Parade takes over Yaquina Bay with dozens of boats and thousands and thousands of light bulbs. The big event happens December 3 along the bayfront, as hundreds line the varied vantage points to catch a glimpse of the maritime festivities.
This watery parade starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 6:30 p.m., Boats slowly circle the bay, from the western edge near the Coast Guard Station to the eastern boundary of the bay with its hotels and marinas, including The Landing At Newport. This enormous loop shows off a huge array of designs, with some major surprises every year.
This year features the addition of the NOAA Pacific Fleet, as they take part in the parade and decorate their own docks.
Half the fun is actually joining in onboard some of the boats and not simply watching from shore. Passenger licensed boats from Marine Discovery Tours, Newport Tradewinds and Captain’s Reel Charters have space available for guests, and the proceeds from these ticket costs go to local charity. Some of the boats feature festive refreshments as well.
Hundreds line the docks and hit the restaurants facing the bay, and finding a good parking spot or overcrowding are not problematic. It's not as packed as the summer season.
The creations in this central Oregon coast hotspot are awe-inspiring and imaginative. In the past, one craft had lighted oars, while another featured a giant whale on top. Highlights have also included live bands on board and tall and masted saiboats with stars sparkling in the rigging.
Some ships have one long string of lights, others have dozens wrapped around in elaborate display.
Ships are then awarded prizes, which this year have been donated from Oregon Coast Bank and other businesses in the community.
Watching the event onshore is free but there is a cost to be aboard the boats themselves. Ticket sales for the rides are donated to the annual Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees event. $33 for adults and $15 for children (children, under three, are free). They can be purchased by calling 541-265-6200 or visiting Marine Discovery Tours at Anchor Pier, 345 SW Bay Blvd., on Newport’s Bayfront before 3 p.m. on December 3.
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