balboa_christmas_treeBalboa Island created a winter wonderland by the sea, celebrating the Christmas season with its annual Christmas tree lighting. The Marine Avenue Fire station hosted this yuletide gathering on December 5th, 2010. The Christmas tree was lit ceremoniously at dusk, establishing a stunning pine centerpiece shining over Balboa Island. Balboa Island considers this to be its premier event to mark the Official Christmas Season. During the Christmas tree lighting, local restaurants, bars and hotels promoted their holiday specials and organized community Christmas events. The main street on Balboa Island features unique boutiques, which offer specialized gifts. Check out boutiques, specialty food shops, and pet accessories shops to find unique gifts this holiday season.

‘Tis the season for celebrating! A snow machine produced flurries of snow for the children. Toddlers bundled up in tiny snow jackets tumbled through piles of snow in a designated snow recreation section. Having grown up in Balboa Island, many of them have never experienced a genuine snowy winter. Naturally, Santa Claus made an appearance, a chance for kids to make a Christmas wish and a charming photo memory. To make the night even more special, Balboa Island served apple cider, cookies, popcorn and other seasonal snacks. Christmas carolers sang classic Christmas tunes, creating a sonorous, joyful ambiance.

This mix of festivities brought together family and community in Balboa Island. Balboa Island has a history of communal Christmas trees, which are displayed in neighborhoods, churches and stores around the island. The gorgeous evergreen decorated with lights is an homage to Christmas tradition. Longtime Newport Beach residents remember these Christmas traditions from many years past.

Look out for other Balboa Island events this Christmas. The annual Balboa Island Holiday Home Walking Tour invites locals to see beautiful homes decorated for the holidays. Homes will be open on December 12th, showcasing beautiful Christmas decorations and interior design. The 102th annual Newport Harbor holiday boat parade will be from December 15th – 19th. The 14 mile parade of yachts decorate with Christmas lights dazzles one million visitors yearly.

Did you celebrate at the Balboa Island Christmas tree lighting this year?

What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?