While the Times Orange County Holiday Parade plies the streets of Santa Ana this weekend, Seal Beach's Main Street hosts its own parade on Friday and three other events--in Newport Beach, Huntington Harbour and Dana Point--will take advantage of the county's coastal waters in the coming weeks. Huntington Harbour will also feature the Cruise of Lights, in which passengers are ferried past decorated waterfront homes.
If you're looking for a parade with a small-town feel, check out the annual holiday march in Seal Beach, which starts at the pier at 7 p.m. and heads north on Main Street. Entries include floats and marching bands. Information: (310) 594-9447.
By sea, there are a number of events to choose from. The boat parade through Dana Point Harbor comes up first, Dec. 11 and 12 beginning at 7 p.m. The parade should be visible from anywhere in the harbor, including some restaurants in the marina.
The Huntington Harbour Boat Parade will be held Dec. 12 and 13. About 40 decorated boats will begin making their way through the main channel at 5:15 p.m. Popular viewing sites include the bridges at Warner Avenue and Humboldt Street, and on the beach at the end of Edinger Avenue.
That parade is a warm-up for the annual Cruise of Lights. Boat rides through the harbor, past waterfront houses decorated for the holidays, are offered four times nightly from Dec. 15 through 22. Cruises on Dec. 19 are already sold out, and some other weekend nights are approaching sellout.
Now in its 84th year, the annual Newport Beach Boat Parade will be offered nightly at 6:30 p.m. from Dec. 17 through 23. The 2 1/2-hour parade features about 200 boats, from canoes to luxury yachts, strung with lights and often elaborately decorated.
Starting at Collins Island, at the western tip of Balboa Island, the parade will wind throughout the harbor, and will be visible from most waterfront locations, including many restaurants. Grandstand viewing will be offered (for a fee) at the Boy Scouts Sea Base on Coast Highway.
* For information on the Dana Point Harbor Boat Parade, call (714) 496-5794.
* For information on the Huntington Harbour Boat Parade, or on the Cruise of Lights, call (714) 840-7542. Tickets for the Cruise of Lights are $5 for children, $8.50 for adults Monday through Thursday and $9.50 Friday through Sunday. Information: (714) 840-7542.
* Grandstand tickets for the Newport Beach Boat Parade are $4 to $6 and are available from Ticketmaster. Tickets: (714) 740-2000. General information on the parade: (714) 729-4400.