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Where are the holiday boat parades? Group offers an online finder to point the way

November 29, 2010 | 11:41 am

A boat festooned with lights and an inflatable Santa Claus at the annual Newport Harbor Boat Parade.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, one's thoughts may turn to Christmas. Many will have family, friends and loved ones coming to visit and may be trying to come up with things to do in the holiday spirit to entertain guests.

The nation's largest boat owners group wants to assist, and suggests enjoying some festive holiday cheer on the waterfront. To help facilitate this, Boat Owners Assn. of the United States is offering a holiday boat parade finder on its website.

The site allows users to easily seek out local lighted boat parades by state or specific date and includes links and contact information. There's also an easy way to add a listing for a boat parade that's not already included. As of Monday, there were 22 event listings for California.

"Watching a slow parade of boats -- each one decorated and lit up brighter than a Christmas tree -- is spectacular and something the kids won't forget," said Boat U.S. spokesman Scott Croft. "Many holiday boat parades also tie into local festivals, so these events aren't just for the boater in the family."

Croft added that Santa Claus often appears at boat parades because "the North Pole is frozen all year long and these parades are his only chance to get out on the water."

-- Kelly Burgess
twitter.com/latimesoutposts

Photo: A boat festooned with lights and an inflatable Santa Claus at the annual Newport Harbor Boat Parade. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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