Holiday Bowl parade balloons. Courtesy Holiday Bowl

The annual Holiday Bowl Parade with its signature giant balloons will begin at 10 a.m. Monday along Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego.

The Port of San Diego will host the 24th annual Solar Turbines 5K run and walk at 9:45 a.m. followed by the parade at 10 a.m. Participants in the 5K will run and walk from the corner of Harbor Drive and Ash Street to Ruocco Park. The parade will begin in front of the County Administration Building and process south down Harbor Drive to its intersection with Pacific Highway.

According to port officials, the parade will include 29 giant balloons, 10 marching bands and multiple floats and drill teams. The marching bands from Northwestern University and the University of Utah, the two teams playing in the Holiday Bowl, will perform during the parade.

“The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade is one of the Port’s signature events, bringing approximately 100,000 spectators, including many from out of state, to the beautiful San Diego bayfront,” said Board of Port Commissioners Chairman Rafael Castellanos. “It’s a wonderful way to activate the waterfront and to add an economic boost to the region.”

County Supervisor Ron Roberts will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. Holiday Bowl organizers named Roberts the game’s honorary chairman Nov. 26.

“I’m flattered to be the honorary chairman of the 2018 SDCCU Holiday Bowl,” Roberts said. “Over the years this game has always been one of the best during bowl season and I’m sure this year will be fantastic. I can’t wait to be part of the many bowl activities.”

Sections of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway will close at 7:45 a.m. to prepare for the parade. Harbor Drive will close from Grape Street to Pacific Highway and Pacific Highway will close from Harbor Drive to Broadway. Parade attendees are advised to take public transit and can visit the Metropolitan Transit System’s website,, for the agency’s New Year’s Eve bus and trolley schedules.

The parade will air live nationally on Fox College Sports, beginning at 10 a.m. It will also air on Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Prime Ticket in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Hawaii and Fox Sports Southeast in Florida.

— City News Service

Show comments

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.