Newport Dunes unveils Fire & Ice Festival featuring Waterfront Ice Rink
and Lighting of the Bay on November 24
November 3, 2023
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort has announced their Inaugural Fire & Ice Festival, featuring one of Orange County’s largest waterfront ice rinks, spanning 4,000 square feet. The festival kicks off a season of holiday fun at Newport Dunes with an opening night celebration on November 24, alongside the 33rd Annual Lighting of the Bay, and runs daily through January 1, 2024.
“This year, we celebrate the return of our beloved Lighting of the Bay with a magical holiday experience like never before,” said Phil Ravenna, general manager of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. “We are excited to bring a waterfront ice rink to Newport Beach. Skaters can enjoy the lights of the bay as well as our Fire & Ice Festival. We welcome the community to usher in the holidays with loved ones and create new holiday memories in our idyllic bayfront setting in the heart of Newport Beach.”
During the Fire & Ice Festival’s opening night celebration on Friday, Nov. 24, enjoy live musical performances, fire dancers, stocking and ornament decorating, a holiday photo booth and more. Santa will take center stage at 4 p.m. during the 33rd Annual Lighting of the Bay ceremony as he flips the magic switch to illuminate the bay with more than 50 floating holiday decorations and Christmas trees, marking the official start to the holiday season. Sip hot cocoa and cider while watching an outdoor screening of a holiday movie to wrap up the evening. The ice rink opens at 12 p.m. Festive food and beverages will be available for purchase, with food trucks and a full bar opening at 2 p.m. The Lighting of the Bay continues each evening at dusk through New Year’s Day.
The Fire & Ice Festival, continuing daily through January 1, promises to be an extraordinary addition to the Lighting of the Bay tradition. Enjoy dazzling fire dancers on Friday and Saturday evenings. Cozy up in the Igloo Cocktail Bar, serving both hot toddies and cool drinks, while taking in the festive atmosphere Wednesday through Sunday. Along the shore, fire pits will be ablaze, offering a magical setting for roasting s’mores with convenient kits available. Explore the Holiday Inflatable Garden, perfect for capturing the festive moment with loved ones, and enjoy outdoor screenings of holiday movies on the beach.
The waterfront ice rink, one of the largest in Orange County at an impressive 82 ft. x 50 ft., will be open daily from November 24 through January 1, offering a picturesque outdoor skating experience. Skaters will enjoy stunning water and marina views, and during the evening as the bay is illuminated, the rink transforms into a winter wonderland with a backdrop of twinkling lights. Don’t miss themed skate nights on the ice rink, adding even more excitement to this holiday celebration. The ice rink is suitable for ages three and above, and skating aids will be available for $10 to ensure a seamless experience for all skill levels. Skating prices are $25 during peak hours and $20 during off-peak hours, per person, for a delightful 90-minute session which includes a skate rental. Advance booking online is now available at www.newportdunes.com.
Stop by the Newport Dunes Tree Lot, open daily November 24 through December 21 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., to pick fresh hand-picked pines from Salem, Ore., while taking in the festive holiday scene.
Sip on seasonal beverages and watch the glowing lights in the Newport Dunes lagoon. On Saturday and Sundays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., cocktails and food will be available from Moe B’s Munchies beachfront grill for family picnics.
RV campers return year after year to soak up the enchanting floating lights on the bay just steps from their RV campsite. Bring an RV or stay in Newport Dunes’ charming, single-family Beach Cottages for a cozy, home-away-from-home experience. For those who do not own an RV, Newport Dunes works with RV rental companies that will deliver a luxury RV to your campsite, all set up and ready to enjoy. For holiday parties and private events, the Back Bay Bistro at Newport Dunes offers the perfect waterfront backdrop for a festive event, just steps from the Lighting of the Bay display. For more information on the Back Bay Bistro and to book a private event, click here, or call 949.729.3800.
Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort is located at 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach. The Lighting of the Bay is free for the public to enjoy; skating and s’mores kits are additional. On-site parking is available at the following rates: 0 to 30 minutes: Free; 30 minutes to 2 hours: $10; 2 to 5 hours: $15; 5 to 8 hours: $20 and 8 to 24 hours: $25.
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Welcome to a New Year which takes me back to The Who song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” whose message is summarized in the last line, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” and its meaning is “nothing changes and so don’t get fooled again.” Which is a very confusing way to report on what’s going on in the harbor this first month of 2024. So let me backtrack before throwing a few soft punches.
I ended last week by walking through Basin Shipyard and took a moment to talk to owners Dereck and Dave New. As always this time of year, the yard is packed with Dave reporting that they are two months out. So, if you own a boat with outboards or Pod drives, you better call now and book your annual maintenance to be ready for the spring/summer boating season. The yard was full of new Tiara products, but I’m sure there were many other makes of yachts in the yard, yet the pretty ones always grab my attention first.
Q: From a distance it seemed like a quiet year, no oil spills, tsunamis, down aircraft. So what did I miss?
A: There were a couple of severe weather (wind and rain) events this year. We revived the technology we use to notify mooring permittees of approaching weather and urge them to verify their mooring equipment and lines to ensure all are secure. You may recall, there was considerable attention and communication in anticipation of Hurricane Hilary arriving in August. One other of the severe weather events was a strong Santa Ana which stresses the mooring equipment from a different direction than usual, so we have significant concern about boats staying in place when faced with unusual conditions. All in all, things were fine and we greatly appreciated everyone’s preparedness in the face of these severe events.
2023 was a busy and productive year for the City of Newport Beach, thanks to strong leadership and our extremely professional staff.
We have been working diligently to increase public safety, address quality-of-life issues, and make strategic investments to further improve our great city.
Here’s a look at some of our 2023 successes:
The City of Newport Beach has introduced a new license program offering 16 onshore and offshore City-owned moorings to the public in a variety of sizes. Applications for the initial licenses will be accepted through March 1, 2024.
The new program is designed for vessel owners to lease moorings long-term without having to acquire a permit, sub-permit or mooring equipment.
Monthly fees will be charged based on the size of the mooring, starting at $162 a month for an 18-ft. mooring. There is no cost to apply for one of the 16 new mooring leases.