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Central Oregon Coast Holidays: Newport's Boat Parade, Sea of Lights

Published 11/18/2017 at 3:55 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Central Oregon Coast Holidays: Newport's Boat Parade, Sea of Lights

(Newport, Oregon) – Newport may well have the most extravagant Christmas celebration on the entire coast, with the Oregon Coast Aquarium's Sea of Lights and the massive Lighted Boat Parade. Both happen at the beginning of December, while one continues throughout the month. (Above: Sea of Lights at Oregon Coast Aquarium). Video below

Thousands upon thousands of twinkling holiday lights will be adrift in an impressive watery display along Newport's Yaquina Bay on December 2, as the 24th Annual Lighted Boat Parade spreads the seasonal cheer in a spectacular armada that day. About 15 boats will meander around the pristine bay, making a large loop around the bay, from the Coast Guard Station to the Embarcadero Resort and back, filling the nighttime coastal air with unique designs and lighting techniques.

The parade starts at dusk on that Saturday. Boats will depart from various docks along the Bayfront and South Beach Marina on the south side and will leisurely circle the bay, from the Coast Guard Station to the Embarcadero. Occasionally, small launches are decorated and deployed by the NOAA Pacific Fleet, as their research vessels return for the winter with plans to sparkle as well.

This parade also has an element of audience participation. Tickets are available to ride the actual boats in the parade.

This year, another unique aspect is what ship is leading the parade. The US Coast Guard's Victory is the oldest vessel in the Coast Guard still in active duty, built in 1956.

Passenger licensed boats from Marine Discovery Tours and Newport Tradewinds have space available for guests, with all parade registration fees and ticket sales donated to the annual Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital Foundation’s Festival of Trees event. Ticket prices will include riding in the parade with hot cocoa and cookies. Prices will be announced soon, and these 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 2.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium presents its fab Sea of Lights throughout December, with over half a million colorful lights and holiday decorations surrounding visitors with the spirit of the season. SCUBA Santa will be busy diving the Aquarium exhibits, posing for photos with visitors, and noting family Christmas wishes.

This family-friendly event kicks off with a special celebration on December 1 and 2 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Admission to the first Friday and Saturday of Sea of Lights is $2 plus two cans of nonperishable food. Entry is $10 per person without donation. Admission is free for Aquarium members, but they are encouraged to bring an item to donate. People may also donate pet food or new, unwrapped children's toys for the Newport Fire Department’s Holiday Toy Drive in place of a food donation.

Sea of Lights will continue to illuminate the Aquarium every following Friday and Saturday of December from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Admission is $10 or free with same day paid admission.
This year’s Sea of Lights is proudly presented by Walmart. Customers that spend over $100 at Walmart’s Newport, Oregon location beginning November 16 will receive a voucher for one free admission to Sea of Lights at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The offer is valid while supplies last and certain dates are subject to blackout. See store for details. Attendees using a voucher are encouraged, but not required, to make a food or toy donation.

The Aquarium is open every day, except December 25, this winter from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information visit or call (541) 867-3474. t 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. Where to stay for these events - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

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Video by Cody Cha,

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