Millions of holiday lights danced upon the icy waters of Huntington Harbour on Saturday and Sunday nights when the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee celebrated the silver anniversary of its Christmas boat parade.
Seventy-one grandly decorated boats, mostly luxury yachts, competed for trophies in the event, which annually launches the committee's "Symphony of Lights"--10 days of benefit boat tours through waterways where passengers view homes brightly lit for the holidays.
"It's a Rose Parade on water," said a bundled up and wide-eyed Jodie Miller after boarding the Grand Marshal yacht, a 58-foot dream owned by luxury home builders Ken and Dorothy Bourguignon (their work includes tennis courts and the swimming pool at the Hugh Hefner mansion).
In 1963, the parade featured 12 boats and netted $6 for the youth programs of the Orange County Philharmonic Society.
"We charged boat owners 50 cents to participate," said By Dod, whose wife, Jane, founded the Huntington Harbour committee. "But, we decided it wasn't right to charge boat owners to decorate their boats, so the following year, we asked party hostesses--several had staged parties in their waterfront homes--to charge guests 50 cents. That year we made $350."
FOR THE RECORD - Los Angeles Times Friday December 18, 1987 Orange County Edition Orange County Life Part 9 Page 12 Column 2 Life Desk 1 inches; 18 words Type of Material: Correction
Sorry, sir: A reference in Thursday's Party Hopping column to Thomas and Judy Morr should have read Thomas Kendrick and Judy Morr.
Now, the committee only charges tour-boat passengers. The committee has raked in more than $500,000 the last 24 years and, this year, expects to net $100,000.
"This group is our mainstay," said Judy Thompson, chairwoman of Philharmonic youth programs. "We reach 300,000 schoolchildren annually with the finest music."
Sara Mullarkey, chairwoman of the Philharmonic committees, noted that Huntington Harbour is a "close community, very service-oriented. There are wonderful leaders here who pull a lot of special people together."
Joanna Chase, wife of boat parade Grand Marshal George Chase, said the couple had lived in Huntington Harbour for only nine years. "But we've been accepted. If you're willing to work, they put their arms around you." A fashion pacesetter, she wore red leather slacks, white boots and a red, silver and white sweater for the occasion.
After the Saturday night parade, which, along with the breathtakingly festooned boats, featured the holiday music of several floating bands, committee members gathered with parade captain Jim Miller and his crew at the Huntington Harbour Yacht Club for a trophy dinner.
Bobby Cornelius won the sweepstakes trophy for his display of towering snowmen with Santa Claus and his reindeer. A special silver anniversary trophy was awarded to Art and Marge Woods for their 14 years of participation in the boat parade.
Jerry Railey is chairwoman of the Huntington Harbour Committee. Benefit committee members include Shirley Stitzinger, chairwoman of the boat parade, and Dee Anderson, publicity.
Chase and Miller were assisted by John Alley, John Foote, Dick Hodgson, Leon Statler, Paul Greenwald, Les Ingham, Mark Weiss, Charles Anderson, Guy Fairon, Richard Zamboni and Gordon Pickett.
Others assisting were Ed Stegman, Ed Robinson, Dick Shively, Austin Snarr, Tom Stroud, Ben Doty, Rick Macklin, George Maguire, Al Moline, Dr. Burton Willis, Dix Helland, Ken Fliva, Court Prowell and Dale Slerik.
The Cruise of Lights--themed "Celebration of Music"--continues through Dec. 22.
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree . . . : Music was on the menu Saturday night when Performing Arts Center supporters gathered to enjoy a holiday concert conducted by Keith Clark, who directed the Master Chorale and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in classics that included the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah."
Gathered in a crush of mink to sip libations before they entered the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel for dinner and the 14th annual Christmas Candlelight Concert were 1,200 guests who paid $175 per person, yielding proceeds of more than $100,000.
Towering holiday trees and huge Christmas cards that looked like sheet music embellished the ballroom foyer. Glittering trees and silky banners--sporting lyrics from "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "White Christmas"--flanked the ballroom stage.
"It's a decor that we plan to add to as years go by," said gala chairwoman Carol Wilken, gowned in floor-length cranberry velvet. "This year we wanted to establish the event as a very traditional evening."
One of the gala's highlights came when Clark invited guests to join in a sing-along of "Silent Night." After several choruses, Clark hushed the symphony and the chorale and asked guests to sing, then hum the classic a cappella.
Among those on the guest list: Renee and Henry Segerstrom; Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom; Susan and Timothy Strader; Ed and Floss Schumacher; Glen and Dotti Stillwell; David and Judy Threshie; Frederick and Michelle Rohe; Stephen and Marylyn Pauley; Al and Deann Baldwin; James and Nancy Baldwin; Irene Bentley; John and Karen Betson; Clyde Gossert; Thomas and Judy Morr; Cecil and Kathryn Wright; Roger and Janice Johnson; and Don and Patricia Yoder.