The Port of San Diego is the main sponsor of the “Big San Diego Bay Balloon Parade” that will take place on Wednesday December 30th, 2009 at 10am at Harbor Drive on the North Embarcadero in Downtown San Diego. “Jack Box” of Jack in the Box fast food fame, will lead the parade which is the 19th annual one. Jack in the Box was founded in San Diego in 1951 and has been a household name in 17 states. The Parade is famous for its giant helium balloons and has outnumbered the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” in New York City by eight balloons.
Another big hit of the parade is the marching bands. The University of Arizona and University of Nebraska marching bands will be performing, along with Marine Band San Diego, Navy Band Southwest, the Salvation Army Band and 10 others. Jack will also be the Honorary Chairman of the 32nd annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl Game where the kickoff is at 5 pm the same evening at Qualcomm Stadium.
There will be 17 specialty units, ranging from Ballet Xochitl to the United States Marines Hummer team. The two competing football teams will present their floats and a float designed by a local elementary school student will be featured. Other floats include the parade’s opening float with the grand marshal, a wiener dog float and a float from the event’s presenting sponsor, San Diego County Credit Union.
Just before the parade, the excitement builds as more than a thousand runners compete in the annual Bumble Bee 5K run. The race starts at 9:45 a.m. at the corner of Harbor Drive and Ash Street, heads South on Harbor Drive behind the San Diego Convention Center and makes a loop through Embarcadero Marina Park North. It ends near Tuna Harbor Park and the G Street Mole in the Marina District.
About 100,000 spectators are expected to view the parade, along Harbor Drive from Grape Street to the Broadway Pier. The parade will air live locally on Channel 4 San Diego.
Parade parking can be a little tricky. The Port of San Diego encourages carpooling or use the public transportation. The San Diego Trolley has convenient stations with service to the Harbor Drive and Ebarcadero areas with free and paid parking lots.
To see the parade route or to find out more about the Holiday Bowl festivities, visit www.pacificlifeholidaybowl.com.