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HERE THEY COME! : As Approach the Holidays, So Do the Holiday Parades

December 05, 1991|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition

It's parade season in Orange County, what with an old-fashioned floats-and-marching band procession about to wind through the streets of downtown Santa Ana and no fewer than three boat parades coming to our harbors.

The annual Times Orange County Holiday Parade, slated for Saturday, will feature huge, helium-filled character balloons like those made famous by the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Among the inflatable attendees will be Tom and Jerry, Felix the Cat, Mighty Mouse and Popeye.

Saturday's parade will also feature floral floats, high school marching bands and equestrian units, and the county's big amusement parks will be represented, too. Actor George Takei, best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in "Star Trek" on television and in films (see Page 10) and former Dodger Manny Mota will be grand marshals.

This parade theme is a salute to the environment, "Celebrate the Wonders of Our Planet." In past years, more than 300,000 spectators have lined the parade route (see map, Page 10) and 1 million more have watched it on television.

The boat parades are coming to Newport Beach, Huntington Harbour and Dana Point.

The 83rd annual Newport Beach Boat Parade, the granddaddy of all these local events, will run for seven nights, from Dec. 17 through 23. The procession is expected to include about 200 boats ranging from canoes to luxury yachts, all strung with Christmas lights and elaborately decorated.

Beginning at Collins Island in Newport Bay, the parade should be visible from points along much of the harbor and the perimeter of Balboa Island. There'll be a grandstand viewing area at the Boy Scouts Sea Base on Coast Highway, but a crossing on the Balboa Ferry during the procession can offer a particularly scenic view.

The Huntington Harbour Boat Parade will feature about 40 boats this Saturday and Sunday nights; they'll begin making their way through the harbor's main channel at 5:15 p.m. The parade is actually a kickoff for the Cruise of Lights, a harbor tour of homes decorated for the holidays, to be offered four times each night from Dec. 13 through 21.

And Dana Point Harbor will hold its Christmas Boat Parade Dec. 13 and Dec. 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. This year's theme: "I Remember Santa Claus."

Cruising on Land and Sea

Here is a list of Orange County's holiday parades:

* The 1991 Times Orange County Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7, will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Civic Center Drive and Broadway in downtown Santa Ana. Marchers will head north along Broadway to 17th Street, then east to Main and then south to Washington Street (see map). Information: (714) 647-6565. The parade will be televised live on KCAL Channel 9.

* The 83rd Annual Newport Beach Boat Parades will run for seven nights, Dec. 17 through 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. just off Collins Island in Newport Harbor. A grandstand viewing area will be set up on the Boy Scouts of America Sea Base at 1931 W. Coast Highway in Newport Beach. Parking will be available at the Newport Dunes, 1131 Back Bay Drive, with shuttle service beginning at 5:30 each evening. Tickets (good for seating, parking and the shuttle) are available through Ticketmaster by calling (714) 740-2000. Prices: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children under 12. The parades may be seen for free from other waterfront locations in Newport Beach. Information: (714) 729-4400.

* The Huntington Harbour Boat Parades are Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8, starting at 5:15 p.m., and should be visible all along the harbor's main channel. The Cruise of Lights holiday harbor tours will run from Dec. 13 through 21; boats will depart on each of the nine evenings at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30. Tour tickets: $8.50 for adults, $5 for children two through 12. Information: (714) 840-7542.

* Dana Point Harbor's Christmas Boat Parades take place Dec. 13 and 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. and should be visible from points all along the harbor. Information: (714) 496-5794.

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