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Christmas boat parade sails despite rain

Approximately 200 boats circulated through the canals of Naples Island during the Naples Island Christmas Boat Parade on Saturday. This popular celebration of the holiday season brought together groups of decorated floating boats through the canals of Naples and Alamitos Bay.

The theme this year was “The Magic of Music,” and boats were awarded prizes based on theme, music, decorations, originality and best costume.

The small boat parade began at 6 p.m. followed by the large boat parade at 6:30 p.m.

“I was born and raised in the Long Beach area and I have attended the parade almost every year, and this year’s boats were just about the best I have seen,” said senior nursing major Laura Smith.

Cal State Long Beach alumna Kali Swick said the weather did not cast a shadow on the night’s event.

“Despite the occasional sprinkling of rain, people seemed to have high spirits,” Swick said.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster led the parade in a gondola, and Third District Councilman Gary DeLong and his family followed in a separate boat. Other participants in the parade were local firefighters, police officers and, of course, Santa Claus.

“I look forward to the boat parade all year. I love to get together with my friends and celebrate Christmas,” said senior communications studies major Morgan Cepparo.

Senior business major Lauren Parker said her favorite thing about the parade is the way it makes her feel. “It pumps me up for Christmas and puts me in the holiday mood,” she said.

In addition to the boat parade, carolers walked through Naples singing songs. Homes throughout Naples and Belmont Shore were lit up with holiday decorations and lights.

“This was my first time attending the parade and I plan on coming next year as well,” said Jennifer Moriarity, a senior communications studies major from Cal State Fullerton.

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