Most of us agree that the annual Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Harbor is a not to be missed event and has annually ranked as one of the top ten holiday events in our nation. But boat parades are not just limited to holiday season. Those individuals that made their way to Newport Harbor to enjoy the 4th of July were treated to the Old Glory Boat Parade hosted by the American Legion Yacht Club. The event started in the 1950’s known then as the “Newport Harbor Character Boat Parade” and previously hosted by the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce was originally held in September. ALYC took over the event about 20 years ago and moved it to the 4th of July one of the most important dates on the Legions calendar. Registration to enter the parade is free and boaters are urged to decorate their vessels in accordance to the year’s theme. Each year, thousands of onlookers line the harbor to catch a glimpse of the boats adorned with patriotic flags and decorations, as they make their way around Newport Harbor. Boaters dress in America-theme costumes, play patriotic music and give a good-hearted attempt to take home one of the parade prizes — including “best decorated,” “outstanding music,” “finest costumes,” “most creative animation” and “greatest spirit.”
During the end of July an awards dinner is held to honor the winners on the many different categories. If you own a boat mark you calendar now for the boat parade next 4th of July. No boat no problem come to the shore and enjoy the festivities.