NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina prepares for its annual Lighting of the Bay for months.
Engineers Joel and Alonso (they didn't disclose their last names) spend days sorting through boxes of lights and cables. Joel has helped bring holiday cheer to the area for 12 years. He said he loves "doing this for everybody to come over and see the Lighting of the Bay."
The two work together mostly for weeks leading up to the official lighting, but assembly has been underway since September.
"Our main focus is on the trees to get everything set up before Christmas," said Alonso.
The Lighting of the Bay started 31 years ago with one float holding only six trees. It's now expanded to 50 floats with 100 trees, a menorah, whales, reindeer and other designs. How else would Newport Beach celebrate the holidays other than on the water?
“Once the lights are on, it’s really worth it,” said Alonso.
All of these lights need a lot of power. Long extension cords are connected to each float and draped through the water. Joel says they have about "100 feet. We need it longer because when it’s high tide we don’t want it to rip apart."
Then they have to plug each cord in at the center, a tedious process, but worth it so the holiday scene will soon shine brightly. It is truly a one-of-a-kind and quintessential Southern California display.
The lights are aglow from sunset to 11:30 p.m. every day until Jan. 1. The event is free for all.