Holiday cheer will be in full swing on Wednesday, December 28 when the annual Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, presented by Kaiser Permanente, marches along Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego.
“Come join us for all the colorful balloons, bands, fun and excitement that the Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade provides year after year,” said Chairman Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “This is a signature event for us, bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to our region, which in turn means tremendous economic impact. We are proud to be the title sponsor.”
This year’s route varies from previous years. The excitement will begin at 10 am on the south side of the San Diego Convention Center on East Harbor Drive. The parade then heads past the San Diego Marriott Marquis, the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Ruocco Park, and then to Pacific Highway, where it ends.
Parade spectators will be wowed by 24 giant balloons, three floats, 18 specialty units, and 12 marching bands, including the University of Oregon’s “Oregon Marching Band” and the University of North Carolina’s “Marching Tar Heels.” The University of Oregon and the University of North Carolina will face off in the 43rd annual San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl at 5 pm that evening, being played for the first time in downtown San Diego at Petco Park.
Parade viewing is available along the sidewalks of Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway. Approximately 100,000 spectators are anticipated. Due to this year’s route change, there will be no grandstand seating. City of San Diego traffic control officers will begin monitoring Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway at 6 am on parade day. After 9 am, streets along the parade route will be closed to vehicular traffic.
This year’s Honorary Parade Chairmen are Dave Rickards and Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph from the popular “Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw” radio show on KGB-FM. The entire parade will be streamed live on CBS8+ and will be hosted by CBS 8’s Evan Noorani and 94.1 FM radio personality Tati. The parade can also be viewed live at holidaybowl.com.
The annual Holiday Bowl Parade 5K Run/Walk will begin at 9:45 am just before the parade’s start at the corner of Park Boulevard & Harbor Drive. Approximately 1,000 participants will proceed north on Harbor Drive, past the Convention Center and circle through Embarcadero Marina Parks South and North, finishing at Ruocco Park.
Parking along the parade route is extremely limited and traffic can be heavy in the area before and after the parade. The Port of San Diego encourages the use of public transportation or ride shares. There are convenient trolley and bus stops adjacent to the parade route. Please visit the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System webpage at sdmts.com for routes and schedules.