The Newport Illuminated Boat Parade returns to Newport Harbor on Saturday Dec. 3, for a spectacle of holiday magic along the waterfront.

This year marks the 25th annual parade where boats of all sizes set sail in the harbor, adorned with holiday lights and Christmas spirit. Free to enjoy, the boats begin their journey at Newport Yacht Club, then travel south along the downtown waterfront and turn around to return to the Goat Island Causeway area.

A beautiful combination of nautical and magical, families can enjoy the dazzling spectacle along Newport Harbor’s waterfront from the Newport Yacht Club, Perotti Park, Bowen’s Wharf, Bannister’s Wharf, and other areas around Newport Harbor.

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This year’s parade will be dedicated to longtime Newport Harbormaster Tim Mills, who passed away suddenly in 2020. It was originally scheduled for November, then postponed.

“To contribute to the community this holiday season, participants and spectators are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center,” said the City of Newport. A donation box will be set up inside the Newport Yacht Club which will remain open to the public for the duration of the event.

If you have ever spent a summer’s day by Newport Harbor’s waterfront, the magnificent yachts and boats are something to admire on their own, but there is an extra layer of charm that gets added during this holiday event, with holiday décor and festive lights adding to the already romantic aesthetic of Newport Harbor.

Boats are welcome to register online to participate.

You thought the Newport waterfront was beautiful in the summer? Wait until you see it on Dec. 3.

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Newport has always been seen as a summer destination. Wealthy New Yorkers used to escape the city in the hotter months for this picturesque seaside spot and the label as a summer vacation destination began.

There are, however, plenty of things to do in this historic town in any season and we've found a few that you may want to try the next time you head to Newport.

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