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California show marks 40th anniversary

A lot has happened since the very first Newport Boat Show opened in the spring of 1973 at Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, Calif.

Richard Nixon was in the White House. A Middle East oil embargo had brought on a U.S. gasoline shortage and there were long lines at filling stations. “All in the Family” was the No. 1 TV show in the country and “The Sting,” with Robert Redford and Paul Newman, won the Academy Award for best motion picture.

The inaugural Newport Boat Show presented 40 to 50 boats in the water instead of inside a convention center hall — something new for Southern California — and it drew crowds. People came from throughout the region to board and compare new and brokerage sailboats and powerboats at a brand-new marina.

This year’s 40th annual Newport Boat Show — set for April 18-21 at Lido Marina Village — will showcase more than 200 boats in the water, making it the largest show of its kind on the West Coast, organizers say. There will be scores of brand-new models, along with ocean-tested yachts outfitted with just about every cutting-edge amenity imaginable. And show-goers will find an array of key boating services, marine electronics, engines, boating gear, apparel and accessories.

Show hours are noon to 7 p.m. on April 18; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on April 19 and 20; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 21. Admission is $15 (credit cards accepted) for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Free offsite parking and continuous shuttle service will be available.

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