5:53 PM PST, December 10, 2012
Newport Beach's Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights will shine on as planned, a Visit Newport Beach news release said Monday.
In spite of threats of a boycott from harbor stakeholders in protest of the city's efforts to increase public tidelands use rents, the release emphasized that the show will go on, and that participation isn't diminished.
More than 60 boats have already committed to participate, according to the release.
"There is absolutely no change in plans," Gary Sherwin, president and chief executive of Visit Newport Beach, said in a statement. "We are on par to have the same, if not more, boats featured in this year's parade as in previous years."
The event attracts more than a million visitors annually.
Parade Chairman David Beek said in a statement that the boycott seems to have, ironically, generated more interest in the event.
The parade will run nightly from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 19 through 23.
The Stop the Dock Tax group, which is staging the boycott, has said that while they support the businesses and residents who will benefit from the event, turning off their lights for the parade is the only option they have left to get the city's attention.
For more information on the parade, go to http://www.christmasboatparade.com. For more information on Stop the Dock Tax, go to http://www.stopthedocktax.com.
— Jill Cowan