After months of preparation for some, the winners of the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and the Christmas Ring of Lights have been declared.
More than 30 judges, picked randomly from the community, scored boats in multiple categories, such as best music and best boat under 30 feet, on Wednesday and Thursday nights, said Seymour Beek, chairman of the judging.
Seymour said he found himself impressed as soon as the first few boats floated by.
"You think, 'Oh, my God, how could anybody outdo that?'" he said of his initial reaction to El Navigante, which appeared early in the parade and won best powerboat. "It's been fantastic."
The participating boats, about 80 in all, will wind among decorated homes facing the Newport Beach harbor nightly throughout the weekend. The event concludes with a fireworks show Sunday.
Decorated homes were chosen for prizes in advance of the start of the parade, which is hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The winning boats and homes may have their banners on display as early as Saturday night.
2013 Christmas Boat Parade Winners
(Numbers in parentheses following the boat names refer to identifying tags on the crafts.)
SWEEPSTAKES: The Last Hurrah, (29)
NON-COMMERCIAL SWEEPSTAKES: Paradise Found, (32)
BEST POWERBOAT: El Navigante, (2)
BEST SAILBOAT: The Hippocampus, (1)
1st: Charisma, (59)
2nd: Amazing Grace, (33)
3rd: Foxsea, (20)
HUMOR & ORIGINALITY: