Newport Illuminated Boat Parade: Christmas in RI

Newport Illuminated Boat Parade, Newport Illuminated Boat Parade: Christmas in RI, The Travel Bug Bite

The Newport Illuminated Boat Parade of 2019 took place on November 29th. The crowds were huge, the atmosphere was festive and the boats were beautiful!

EDIT: Newport Illuminated Boat Parade:

A kind person commented on this post and pointed out that I was confusing Newport, RI and Newport Beach in California! So I am rewriting this post. Luckily, the people running Newport Beach Boat Parade in California were kind enough to refund out tickets. The RI parade is the Newport Illuminated Boat Parade.

Every year, Newport, Rhode Island, hosts a parade of festive boats decorated in Christmas lights. This years was the 29th anniversary of the parade and it was about an hour long.

In case you don’t already know, Newport was founded in 1639 on Aquidneck Island, which was then called Rhode Island. So it is one of the oldest places in Rhode Island (and Providence Plantations). It is also one of my favorite places in the area because it is a cute, walkable town with a lot of European influence which I am very homesick for. You can read more about Newport here.

“Newport has more colonial homes in use than any other location in the U.S. In a recent story here on, Built In 1765: Oldest Buildings in Newport, RI, we discovered there are more than 6o buildings still standing in Newport prior to 1765.”

What’s Up Newp

The event in Rhode Island is free. The event in California also offers free viewings but they also do cruises. You can spend 75 minutes on one of these boats for $32 each + a $2 fee. These cruises are available for most of December but NOT on the days of the festival (Dec 18th-22nd).

If you prefer bugs to boats, you can go to Providence and experience a different Christmas event. The Big Blue Bug, AKA the biggest termite in the world, is already lit up and perfect for entomology enthusiasts! Yes, Rhode Island is a weird but awesome place.

Follow The Travel Bug Bite for more Christmas traditions from all over the world!

Newport Illuminated Boat Parade, Newport Illuminated Boat Parade: Christmas in RI, The Travel Bug Bite


  1. Hello – you’re confusing Newport Beach, California with Newport, Rhode Island. You included some info about each city and each event. Newport, Rhode Island held their 22nd Annual Illuminated Boat Parade on November 29th. It is the only boat parade of the year and there are no boats that sell tours or tickets to see it from the water.

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