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From the Boathouse: Counting down to the Fourth

June 27, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

The Fourth of July is next Thursday, and every year on the fourth is the Old Glory Boat Parade in Newport Harbor. This wonderful annual tribute to freedom attracts boats from neighboring harbors and spectators around the harbor. This year's theme for the parade is "Stars and Stripes Forever Is the Color of Our Freedom."

The American Legion Yacht Club at Post 291 organizes the parade in conjunction with the post's annual July 4 fundraiser for the American Legion's Boys State program, VA hospitals and the Orange County Stand Down for homeless veterans, plus other worthy causes.

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The post hosts a pancake breakfast and a BBQ lunch that is open to the public. The breakfast is from 7 to 11 a.m., and the tri-tip and chicken lunch will be served from noon to 4 p.m. However, the Old Glory Boat Parade will begin at 1 p.m., and the parade participants need to be by Collins Island by 12:30 p.m. to form the line.

Once again, the Orange County Sheriff's red fireboat will lead the parade around the harbor. You can see a map of the parade route at http://www.americanlegionyachtclub.com/files/Parade_CourseChart_2013.pdf. Additionally, parking will be available at the grassy lot next to the American Legion on 15th Street, across the street at the Catholic church, with a free shuttle ride from Hoag Health Center at 500 Superior Ave. My advice is to park at the health center and ride the shuttle to avoid the traffic on the Balboa Peninsula.

If you are around Newport Harbor after dark, you can watch the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina's fireworks display from shore or aboard your boat. The Dunes has a display that has become a tradition in Newport Harbor, and the fireworks will light up the sky at 9 p.m.

Boats that can fit under the Coast Highway bridge will most likely cruise up the Back Bay to see the fireworks while floating off the Dunes marina. Remember that to reach the Dunes area, boaters must follow the unlit channel markers or risk grounding once you have gone under the PCH bridge. Also, boaters need to know the tide levels for clearance under the Coast Highway bridge.

Actually, my favorite spot to watch from a boat is in the large turning by the anchorage area off the east tip of Lido Isle. You can drop your hook, relax and watch the fireworks with your family and friends aboard.

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