Balboa's 96th Annual
Christmas Boat Parade
is an event that's a must
For nearly a century the week before Christmas
is an event that draws thousands of people from all over the
globe, and this Christmas will be no different. One of the best
places to view the Boat Parade is at the Balboa Island Ferry
Landing at Fun Zone on the Balboa Peninsula. Be sure to dress warm
because this is the coldest time of the year.
This year the Boat Parade will run from December 15th thru
Even better then watching the parade, you can be a part of it. You
can rent a boat or ride in the Boat Parade on one of several boats
that are a part of the Boat Parade. Here are some of them:
Zone Boat Co.
Landing Sport Fishing
WANT TO HAVE A DINNER VIEW?
Newport Landing Restaurant
Several months ago I had emailed you asking for your assistance in
trying to find a photo(s) of a few stores on Balboa that had
burned several years back. (Early to mid 80’s I think) Actually
the story goes like this. My wife and I had our first date on
Balboa Island in 1980 when she was 17 and I was 19 years old. We
rented rollerskates and skated all over the pier & fun zone and
then we took the ferry over to the island. We then returned on the
ferry and ended up watching an outdoor Greek wedding near some
homes by the docks. This was appropriate because I’m Greek and she
was not aware of it at the time. (Poor thing, she never knew what
she was getting into....) Anyway we ended up going back near the
fun zone and we purchased our first Balboa Bar at a small ice
cream shop which was located near the ferris wheel. (This was not
the small freestanding building across from the arcades, instead
it was a shop that was further down toward the Balboa ferry.) Over
the next couple of years we would go back when we could but since
we were both attending school in Santa Barbara it was very seldom.
While we were both home on Christmas break to visit our families,
we decided one evening to bundle up and go get our Balboa Bars in
the cold weather. We arrived only to find that the ice cream shop
had burned down weeks, perhaps months earlier. It was sad but what
do you do. Later there was a large building built on the spot
which had a restaurant and I think a few small offices on top.
Well we still go back after 25 years but now we have our Balboa
Bars on the island instead of near the fun zone and they are still
as good. I eat two!
Anyway I thought that perhaps you might have or know of someone
that may have a photo or artists rendering of that area prior to
the fire that I may be able to purchase. It is my our 25th
anniversary on the 18th of this month and I thought it would be a
nice little memory to add to the weekend when we celebrate. You
mentioned that you were going to ask some of your readers and I
tried to keep up on any postings but I didn’t see anything and
then I forgot. Well... like most typical males with their
anniversary just around the corner I’m now scrambling to bring
everything together for that special day and thought I’d try to
locate this phantom image of a long since gone ice cream store
just one more time.
Any help would be once again appreciated and I thank you once
again for all your consideration.
Jim – look at the e-mail I got via your website
For some reason I looked at the Tales of Balboa web site just now
and happened to see your inquiry into info RE: Pirates Days in
Balboa. I moved to the peninsula as an 18-month-old in 1936 so
experienced many Pirates Days during my childhood. The real memory
is 1947. The people involved in putting on Pirates Days always
built a jail and anyone caught not growing a beard during these
roustabout days was jailed. My father, who ran the slot machines
in the area, always refused to grow one (he had a mustache). I
remember my brother and I watching our father's punishment carried
out. He was tossed off the dock in front of the Fun Zone, fully
clothed. We both cried, not realizing it was a setup stunt. Lots
of action during those days. This event drew in many people from
neighboring and not so neighboring cities and made a lot of money
for the city fathers (and mothers). It was very exciting to a kid
and a lot of fun getting my mother to make me a costume each year.
I remember someone making me a wooden sword.
I cannot believe there is no mention of this event in any of the
history books. That is an amazing omission as this was a very
popular event. Restaurants made a lot of money, as you can
imagine, as did the Fun Zone, the Arcades, and probably most of
the stores. I'm sure the Rendezvous, too, had some form of
entertainment. We always had huge big bands through the years. A
wonderful place to grow up, the perfect era for someone like me. I
miss Balboa/Newport Beach and try to visit once or twice a year
from San Luis Obispo. I have many classmate/friends from Newport
Harbor High School, the only high school in the area at the time.
Someone who might remember Pirates Days better than I do is Jim
Stewart. He lives in Monmouth, IL, but lived in Balboa in Mrs.
Webb's apartments with his family from 1943 until 1950-51 when
they moved to Illinois. Jim and his brother, Bill, both worked at
the Fun Zone and the Balboa Theater and I would bet you anything
that Jim could fill you in on some Pirates Days info. His email is
Of course, others have undoubtedly contacted you, so perhaps you
have all the info you need. Just wanted to say "hello" and talk to
you a bit. I envy you that you live in the area. On the news this
morning, Newport Beach was featured on THE TODAY SHOW, revealing a
sea otter problem with the otters settling on people's boats every
day. I can only imagine how I'd feel if my yacht suddenly had 8-9
800 pound creatures sunning themselves. I wonder how one would
solve such a problem.
Hope you find the information you are seeking.
This series of paintings was made for the Balboa Pavilion by
Hi, I visit this page often because I grew up on the Balboa
Peninsula. I just received your poster and I love it. I can relate
to so many of the pictures on it. I lived in Balboa from the time
I was 3 yrs. old till I graduated Newport Harbor Highschool. Then
got married and moved to Costa Mesa. Thanks for the memories.
Do you have any old photos of balboa? I am looking specifically
for Main Street where Dillman’s restaurant & Orange Julius used to
Dawn Nicolaisen (Dillman)
My name is Robert Reed, son of the former Marine Safety Director
of Newport Beach.
I am in the process of scanning both of my dad's scrapbooks he
made of the period between 1958 and 1968, and I think they would
be a good historical perspective of those times from his
perspective in the Lifeguard Department. I'll let you know how
Robert Reed Jr.
Arcata, California (near Eureka)
Robert Reed Jr.
Is the Fun Zone really going to be busted apart by that stupid
museum? Nobody goes to the museum now. The Fun Zone is a Museum
in itself with the history it carries. I have been going to Balboa
since I was a kid (renting houses, hotels etc.). I now take my
kids there every summer. I will not return if the museum is going
to occupy some of the best areas in the Fun Zone. If the museum
is going up why aren't people fighting it and give me the city
council persons name
Do you know who produced the Flight of the Snowbirds piece that
shows occasionally on Cable Public Access Channel 3? It's an
interview with Seymour Beek and Bill Shock. I would not only like
to buy a copy but I would like to engage the production crew for a
Balboa Island Yacht Club piece to be used by the
Just wanted to tell you what beautiful pictures of Balboa. I grew
in Newport and now live in Ohio. Whenever I am homesick and need a
“California Fix” I log on and look at your photos. They are a
wonderful escape for me!
Thank you for your website!
Hello, I was reading the OC Register today and there was an
article referencing a book, "Old Balboa Island Stories From 1907
to the Millennium." It sounds like good reading, do you know
where I can get this book?
Greate site. Thank you :)
NY, wasingov st.121
I heard Tim Morgan has a movie out about Balboa is this true?
He used to play at the Prison of Socrates in Newport Beach in the
Information would be appreciated
For More London's Times
Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?