Central Oregon Coast Bay Lights Up This Weekend
|Boats light up Newport's Yaquina Bay (photo courtesy Discovery Tours)
(Newport, Oregon) - Newport's Yaquina Bay will get festive
in a particularly spectacular way in early December as about a couple
dozen boats take to the water gussied up in a variety of lights - all
for the charity event known as the 15th Annual Lighted Boat Parade.
On December 6, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., local lighted
boats make a large loop around the bay, from the Coast Guard Station to
the Embarcadero Resort and back, showing off a variety of colorful designs.
Onlookers can actually be in the middle of it all and ride
aboard one of several passenger-licensed craft during the event. Marine
Discovery Tours, Newport Tradewinds, Sea Gull Charters and Yaquina Bay
Charters will offer rides. Tickets are $28 for adults, $14 for children
(4-13), while three years old and under ride free. Tickets can be purchased
by calling 265-6200, or by visiting Anchor Pier on the Bayfront. Space
is based on availability.
|Yaquina Bay in the daylight
All proceeds go to the local health charities for a new
kidney dialysis machine.
Watchers line the docks and fill the restaurants and shops
on the historic Bayfront to watch the glowing display, although you won't
find parking or overcrowding a problem, because this time of year isn't
as jam packed as the summer season. It's the right mix of energetic, holiday
frivolity and easy access for the visitor.
The number of lights and designs have varied greatly over
the years, said co-founder Fran Mathews, who also owns Discovery Tours.
Her own Oregon Rocket made a splash in 2005. "It had a surprise burst
of lights as the passengers aboard pulled illuminated oars through the
water," she said. "Other highlights have included live bands
on board, tall, masted saiboats with stars sparkling in the rigging, and
a spouting whale on top of the Discovery."
said boats in the parade have run with as few as one perfectly positioned
strand of lights to thousands of lights on the larger vessels.
Newport is home to the largest fishing fleet in Oregon
and the boat parade will feature a variety of watercraft, including charter
boats, fishing boats, sail boats and even sea kayaks. Mathews said this
event is different because while many similar festivities contain mostly
private pleasure craft, this one includes many working fishing boats.
Then there is the charity aspect of the event. The boat
companies, in turn, donate ticket sales to the Festival of Trees event,
put on by Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation, which will
facilitate the new dialysis machine.
This year, the parade again has a popular feature for local
boaters: a decorating competition. All mariners in Lincoln County are
invited to enter and win a variety of prizes.
and her husband Don thought it would add to the festivities to include
prizes for a decorating competition. “We have a beautiful, protected
bay for evening harbor lights,” said Don Mathews. “And we
have boats in this county - from pleasure craft and sail boats, to charter
and fishing vessels. Captains and crews love to work as a team, whether
it’s the family boat or a high-lining fishing crew.”
Prizes will be awarded to the boats following the event.
“This is a fun way to launch this festive season
of fundraising, joined together by people from all over the coastal community
while we showcase our beautiful boats and Bayfront neighborhood,”
said Fran Mathews.
For information on entering the boat-decorating contest
or to reserve passenger tickets, call Marine Discovery Tours at (541)
265-6200 or visit their office at Anchor Pier, 345 SW Bay Boulevard -
on Newport’s Historic Bayfront.
Call the Newport Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-262-7844
or visit www.DiscoverNewport.com for more information or to request a
free Destination Newport Passport and a list of participating businesses.
The passport may be presented to participating Newport attractions for
discounts and special offers at restaurants, shops, hotels, attractions,
tours and more.
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