The Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade began at the turn of the century. John Scarpa, an obscure Italian gondolier, and Joseph Beek, developer of Beacon Bay, the Balboa Ferry Line and the principal force in the early development of Balboa Island, arrived in the Newport Harbor area over 100 years ago. These two men established what was then called the Tournament of Lights, an event that would continue for the next century. Today the Tournament of Lights, now called the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, features as many as 100 boats. The parade is proudly hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and is hailed as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by The New York Times. The parade is the premiere event of the holiday season in Southern California.