MUSIC, MOTION, AND MERRIMENT – - Newport Beach, California is home of the annual “Christmas Boat Parade”, known as one of the ten best Christmas viewing events in the country. This award-winning house, located on Balboa Island in the middle of the Newport Harbor, is viewed by thousands of visitors who came by car, by foot, and by boat!
No wonder so many people stop to gaze at the lighted wonderland. There is animated action galore. While Christmas carols play in the background, “snow” drifts from the rooftop dispensed from a manufactured snow machine. On the rooftop, Santa waves from a chopper with rotating blades and a gingerbread man jumps on a lighted trampoline. Lighted wheels rotate on a choo-choo train; a tin soldier drums his drums; a snowman tips his hat; a gyrating Santa Claus dances; and even an illuminated Hula Dancer’ wiggles back and forth!
The house is anchored on one side by an eye-stopping 25 foot green blinking Christmas tree. On the other side the eight foot wide chimney is draped in a carpet of red lights inter-mixed with white lights that vertically spell “Balboa Island”. Blinking candy canes, stockings, bells, and snowflakes all add to the fun. There are 24,000 light bulbs in all.
Winning the admiration and gratitude of all who visit, the house has earned many prestigious awards: “1st Place Lights and Animation” and from the Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce and “Photographer’s Choice”(the sponsors of the Boat Parade), and the “Best Animation” award from the Balboa Island Association. The house and its owner have also been featured in a PBS television special and newspaper articles.
What makes it all so amazing, owner Greg Zimmerman does all of the work himself, and makes many of the lighted decorations as a year round hobby. He’s always alert to searching for new light ideas and creations while on far flung vacations.