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Tis the season to be merry, come and celebrate

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Once again the holiday season has arrived, and this year it is filled with many exciting events for the family to enjoy. Christmas is especially special for children and many of this years events have special attractions for the kids among us. Happy holidays to all, and a Merry, Merry, Christmas.

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Here are five of the top events to be enjoyed in December:

1. Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade

400 Main Street

Newport Beach, Calif

Website: http://www.christmasboatparade.com/

Date: Dec. 18 - 22, 2013

Time: Starts at 6:30 p.m. and lasts about 2 1/2 hours.

On Dec. 18 at about 6:20 p.m. there will be a special opening fireworks display to start the free 105th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. This event will again be hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, set to the theme "Rocking around the Christmas tree".

Starting and ending at Bay Island, for five nights, there will be about 250 beautifully decorated million dollar yachts, kayaks, canoes and small boats, to set the harbor ablaze as they wind their way for about 14 miles past million dollar mansions,bayside restaurants and public beaches, accompanied by music and costumed carolers.

Serving as a backdrop to the Christmas boat parade is the "Ring of lights contest"- beautifully decorated bayside homes and businesses will compete, with animated roof-top scenes and dancing Christmas trees. This event has been rated, as one of the top 10 holiday events in the nation, by the New York Times.

Plan on arriving early as parking can be difficult, and to get a good viewing spot. For those who would like to be in the parade 'Davey's Locker' has 2 general admission cruises each night of the parade, that is actually part of the parade. From their decks one can see, not only the other boats in the parade but also the decorated homes that line the waterfront..

On Sunday, the last night of the parade, the event ends with a special fireworks display about 9 p.m. Launched from the Balboa Pier it will be visible all around the harbour and surrounding areas.

Visit the website for more information, directions, and where to stay if planning to spend the night.

2. The Muckenthaler Cultural Center Holiday Festival

1201 West Malvern Ave

Fullerton, Calif

Phone (714) 738-6595

Website: http://themuck.org/

Date: Dec 22, 2013

Time: 12 - 4 p.m.

This free holiday event will include home and gallery tours, performances, an arts and crafts fair, a free art workshops for the kids as well as a play area just for them, and an appearance by Santa Claus.

3. Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort

25135 Park Lantern

Dana Point, Calif

Website: http://www.lagunacliffs.com/vue/index.asp

Reservation Phone: (949) 487-7516

The Marriott Resort in Dana Point will be celebrating the holiday season with special dinners,
(a) the first one is on Christmas Eve, Dec 24, from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., in the ocean view "Vue Restaurant" and will have available a special children's menu.
(b) On Christmas Day the dinner is from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., cost $75 per person and includes a 4-course special menu, a children's menu, complimentary parking and live entertainment.
(c) on New Year's Eve Dec.31, dinner is from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. and includes ringing in the new year with an exclusive menu prepared by chef 'Thomas'. The cost for the dinner is $99 and includes complimentary valet parking and live entertainment.

Also on Dec 31st one can ring in the New Year in the OverVue Lounge where there will be a champagne toast, live entertainment by 'Grove All Stars" and a balloon drop at midnight. Cost is $25. Reservations are required for the dinners, but you can just show up for the OverVue Lounge entertainment and pay at the door, seating is on a first-come basis.

4. First night in Fullerton

Downtown Fullerton

Website: www.cityoffullerton.com/residents/community_events/first_night_in_fuller...

Date: Dec 31, 2013

Time: 7 p.m. - midnight

This is the 22nd Annual "First Night in Fullerton" New Year's Eve celebration. The free event is also alcohol free and includes a full line-up of activities, entertainment, rides, and food. It takes place at various locations between Harbor Blvd on the west and Pomona Ave on the east, in the historic downton area. The celebration ends with a fireworks show at midnight to welcome the new year.

5. Giant New Year's Eve Dance & Super Singles Social

Hotel Fullerton & Conference Center

1500 S. Raymond Ave

Fullerton, Calif

Phone: TF-(877) 700-0688 or (714) 635-9000

Website: www.spectaculareventz.com/page.php?6

Date: Dec 31, 2013

Time: 6 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Celebrate the end of one and the beginning of another year. Join with other single friends or come and make new ones as you dance to the music of the DJ's Larry and Rob in the spectacular 'Crowne Lounge' with a wood dance floor and it's own cash bar. Across the hall there is more dancing in the 'Crest Ballroom' in an alcohol-free environment.

The lively atmosphere includes prizes for games, a scavenger hunt for prizes, and bonus points for those who can locate the Mystery Man and Mystery Woman. Men go to multiple tables during and after dinner, see if you can find the one who has the key to unlock your heart, (there are non-rotational tables for couples).

Tickets can be purched online or by calling (714) 622-4977. Prices are $59 per person when prepaid, and $75 at the door, it includes noise makers, dinner, dancing in both rooms, and free parking. Dinner is served until 7:45 p.m. For those who wish to attend the dance only from 8 p.m. -1 a.m the cost is $39 prepaid or $50 at the door.

For those who wish to stay the night the hotel has a special rate of $99, if there is still availability.

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