The 23rd annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by San Diego County Credit Union is set to step off at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 30. The parade is a National University Holiday Bowl production and annually attracts more than 100,000 viewers to the scenic bayside streets of San Diego.
This is a nationally and locally televised attraction; the USA Network will carry the national broadcast, while Channel 4 San Diego will produce the event and air it locally. The national broadcast is scheduled for Jan. 5. Channel 4 will broadcast the event live, and rebroadcast it several times.
"The Big Bay serves as the stunning backdrop for what truly is one of the nation's best parades," said Bill Geppert, president of the 2013 National University Holiday Bowl. "Hundreds of community-minded volunteers and several dedicated sponsors have made this an event for which we are so proud to present."
Recognized as "America's Largest Balloon Parade," the event features more giant helium-filled character balloons than any parade in the country. Inflatables slated to soar include Horton the Elephant, Woody Woodpecker, Thomas the Tank Engine and Garfield. In all, the balloons flying in the 2013 parade will require 50,000 cubic feet of helium.
Retired Rear Admiral John "Mac" McLaughlin, president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum, will be leading the fun as Grand Marshal.
Other events surrounding the parade include the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals and the Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run.
The 2013 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals pits nine of the fastest dachshunds from all over the Western United States against each other on a 53-foot track. "Presley" beat out more than 400 dachshunds in August qualifying to earn the San Diego spot in the finals. The winner will be featured in the parade aboard the Wienerschnitzel float. It starts at 9 a.m. in the parade television area.
The Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run kicks off the parade at 9:45 a.m. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each division. Registration is still open. Runners will run in front of tens of thousands of spectators.
For more information on all parade day events, and to purchase parade television area grandstand tickets, visit www.HolidayBowl.com or call 619/283-5808.