Holiday Festivities in Orange County

December 8, 2012

Orange County has so many wonderful Holiday Festivities this year and we want to share them with you. Our founder, Lili Shadab, was the Chair of the Special Events Committee for the City of Laguna Niguel for two years, and was intimately involved with the coordinating of the City Parade; so we can personally recommend this incredible event. 

Photo by Carl Gelbart, Fred Ortman and Sam Pawley. 

Laguna Niguel Holiday Parade – December 8, 2012

This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, December 8th and the theme is “Honoring Our Heroes.” The parade will be filled with beautiful equestrian units, patriotic and inspirational military tributes, spirit-filled youth groups, classic auto clubs, talented marching bands, and some of the biggest attractions in the nation!
The parade committee has announced that they have two additional Olympians in the parade this year. MyKala Maroney, Gold Medalist teammate of Kyla Ross will ride with Kyla as Sports Grand Marshals; and Julie Swail Ertel, Water Polo Medalist form 2000 will be featured in the JSerra Catholic High School entry. Please come out and celebrate all of our heroes!

Performance: An Irish Holiday Festival — The Story of Ireland – December 9, 2012

Vendors will be in John M. Lee Court from12:00 – 4:00 PM
Storytelling and music in the Norma Kershaw Auditorium will be held from 1:30 – 3:30 PM
A day of Irish tradition and culture filled with music, song, storytelling, dance, Irish art, crafts, books, cakes, puddings and more! Storytelling with Sheelagh Cullen, from 1:30 – 2:15 PM, music from 2:30 – 3:30 PM with sensational artists fiddler Bella Issakova, Preston Howard, Zac Leger (fiddle, uilleann  pipes, guitar) and Felim Egan (button accordion) plus Kevin Horton, formerly with Riverdance – now part of the Kerry Dance Troupe – not to be missed! 
Vendors products will include: a special selection from the Irish Import Shop of Hollywood and San Diego, goods from authentic Irish bake shop Sugar & Scribe, Christmas candles, Irish music.
Also enjoy live music from harpist Slugger O’Toole, Christmas carolers, and roving musicians!
Fee (storytelling & concert): Member $10; Non-member $15; Free admission to the Irish Vendor Sale. Does not include museum admission.
Purchase tickets online. Tickets are also available at the Bowers Museum Visitor Services Desks Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 am – 4 pm, and at the door on the day of the event. Tickets are non-refundable. Proceeds benefit the Bowers education programs. Presented in association with Kerry Records and the generous sponsorship of M. Finbar Hill, Hon. Consul General of Ireland.

Cruise of Lights – December 15-23, 2012

The Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Cruise of Lights® offers narrated boat tours through the waterways of Huntington Harbour in Huntington Beach, California. In December both locals and visitors share the beauty of thousands of lights and animated displays on brightly decorated homes, docks, decks and boats. This is the 50th year for Cruise of Lights®, voted Top 10 by Coastal Living magazine and Best Christmas Lights Destination in the U.S. by AOL.

Christmas Boat Parade – December 19-23, 2012

As Newport Beach’s Christmas Card to the world, the boat parade will set the harbor ablaze for five consecutive nights, beginning Wednesday, December 19 and ending Sunday, December 23, 2012. The parade starts off Bay Island at 6:30 pm and finishes at the same site at approximately 9:00 pm each evening.
Beautiful multi-million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and other small boats will light up the harbor as a dazzling array of holiday lights and music fill the air at the Christmas Boat Parade. Many of the boats will be richly decorated with animated Christmas scenes accompanied by music and costumed carolers. Some boat owners in the past have spent over $50,000 to decorate their vessels for the event. The Christmas floats will wind their way some 14 miles around the harbor to give viewers in restaurants, yacht clubs, on public beaches, and in private homes an incredible sight that has delighted millions of people for a century.
The Christmas Boat Parade, which has been hailed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times, is truly a magical holiday tradition for all ages. The parade continues to be a premier event during the holiday season in Southern California that brings joy and happiness to all that view it.
2012 Parade Route
The 2012 Parade will utilize the same starting and ending point as last year, located off Bay Island, and follow the same route.
Ring of Lights
Serving as the backdrop for the hundreds of lighted boats in the parade is the annual “Ring of Lights” contest, hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Beautifully decorated bayside homes and businesses surrounding the harbor go “all out” with their own holiday spirit, featuring everything from roof-top animated scenes to dancing Christmas trees. With its own judged categories and prizes awarded, the “Ring of Lights” has become as celebrated as the boat parade itself.

On the final night of the parade, Sunday, December 23, a special fireworks display will close out the parade. Beginning at approximately 9:00 pm, the fireworks will be visible from all around the harbor, being launched from the Balboa Pier.
Awards Dinner and Auction
Both the Boat Parade and the Ring of Lights competitions culminate at the annual Awards Dinner & Auction to be held on January 25, 2013 at the Balboa Bay Club. Open to the public, this gala event will honor award winners from both competitions. Additionally, the party will feature live entertainment, dancing and an incredible live and silent auction. Details on how your business can support the auction and the parade, will be available shortly.
For more information about these events, or to request information about viewing areas, restaurants and boat charter companies, please call the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce at (949) 729-4400. 

Gingerbread House Academy at the St. Regis Monarch Beach – December 1-23, 2012

Saturday Sessions at 10 am and 1pm; Sundays at 10am
A sweet St. Regis tradition continues this year with our gingerbread academy. Children and families are invited to decorate a gingerbread house with all the frosting and candy imaginable.

$65 per house, maximum of 4 people per house. Reservations required. For reservations call (800) 722-1543.

Frosty Flicks at The Lab – November 29 – December 2

A Christmas Carol at Southcoast Repertory – November 24 – December 24

Nineteenth-century London comes to life when your family joins the SCR family for the holidays Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters.

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