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California's Largest Balloon Parade

About -1 year(s) ago by Ayres Hotels

If you love balloon parades and family fun, don't miss the amazing Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade and festivities on December 31, 2018. Every year this exciting event brings families together as the scenic, bayside streets of downtown San Diego come alive…

The day begins at 9:45 a.m. with the 25th annual Solar Turbines 5K run/walk. The race begins at the corner of Harbor Dr. & Ash St. and finishes just in time to still catch the parade. If you're participating in the race, be sure to keep on your race bib to receive your free shirt and goody bag near the finish line…and don't forget to catch the post-race party with live music and lots of post-race munchies.

At 10:00 a.m. you can join the cheering crowd as the parade begins on the downtown streets of San Diego. The parade starts near the County Administration building on Harbor Drive, proceeds south and concludes at the corner of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway near Seaport Village. This year you will enjoy the motorized floats, impressive marching bands, community groups, entertaining drill teams, and an impressive procession of massive air balloons.

Street viewing of the parade is free but, for those who prefer the best seat on the route, you can reserve grandstand seats. There are a limited number of seats you may purchase in advance for $22.00. Grandstand seats offer the best view since the parade is televised and parade participants are sure to perform as they march by.

If you decide to drive, you can try and find a spot in one of the metered areas or park further out and take the trolley. If you arrive early in the morning the best parking lot is at the corner of Pacific Highway & Broadway. The city is also charging $20 for cars and $60 for RVs to park in the stadium parking lot. This option is perfect for those planning tailgate parties or watching the halftime firework show. VIP preferred parking is also available to purchase in advance for $75.

The festivities all lead up to the day's namesake event: The Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium, where teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences are matched to play an exciting game. This year the game takes place on New Year's Eve and is scheduled earlier in the day to allow fans to still make it to holiday parties. Here's a list of the game festivities at the SDCCU Stadium:

  • 1:00 PM:FanZone opens
  • 3:30 PM: Pregame Show
  • 4:00 PM:Holiday Bowl

Before the game, fans can take part in interactive football challenges and enjoy treats from some of San Diego's best local food trucks before the kickoff. Tickets for the game are available online and access to the pregame festivities are free with the purchase of a SDCCU Holiday Bowl game ticket.

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