NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) – Thousands of people came out Wednesday evening for the 113th annual boat parade in Newport Beach, which had to be cancelled last year due to concerns over COVID-19.

Dec. 15, 2021 (credit: CBS)

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Wednesday kicked off the first night of the city’s “Holiday Postcard to the World” celebration.

Well over 100 boats participated in the parade, all creatively displayed and lit up for families to enjoy.

“It’s just the best. Yeah, we did pizza, and hot chocolate and get to see the boats go by,” said Mike Angelo, who was enjoying the parade with his daughter.

After the pandemic sank the annual parade in 2020, a lot was riding on this year’s parade to help replenish the economy and keep struggling businesses afloat.

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“We all wanted to come out of this strong after a very difficult couple of years, and I think this is one way to get people’s minds off some of the challenges that they’ve been facing,” said Gary Sherwin, President of Newport Beach & Company.

According to Newport Beach & Company, the boat parade alone brings in more than $6 million for local restaurants and vendors.

Newport Beach resident and co-owner of Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza, Stan Frazier, also said the boat parade is good for business.

Dec. 15, 2021 (credit: CBS)

“It helps our business because we’re able to sell pizza. We’re able to spread our good word and we’re out here with the people of Newport Beach in Orange County,” Frazier said.

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The event will continue over the next four nights, with boats parading around Lido Isle and Balboa Island.