"America's Largest Balloon Parade" Returns December 27th

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2011 paraderelease newsThe 22nd Annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by San Diego County Credit Union is set to step for at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 27. The parade is a Bridgepoint Education 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 Friday, December 28th at 8 a.m. ET/PT. Channel 4 will broadcast the event live, and rebroadcast it several times.

"This parade is a gem for San Diego," said John Wertz, president of the 2012 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. "We are so proud of it. Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, folks all around the nation will enjoy a tremendous parade, and all the beauty of San Diego."

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 The Lorax, Bob the Builder, Mr. Potato Head and Olivia the Pig. In all, the balloons flying in the 2012 parade will require 50,000 cubic feet of helium.

Jared Gilmore, star of ABC's 'Once Upon a Time,' will be leading the fun as Grand Marshal.

Other events surrounding the parade include the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run and the San Diego County Credit Union Big Bay Family Festival.

The 2012 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals pits nine of the fastest dachshunds from all over the Western United States against each other on a 56-foot track. "Reggie" 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 9:30 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.

At the conclusion of the parade, families can enjoy the San Diego County Credit Union Big Bay Family Festival on the Broadway Pier. This is a free event with scores of family-friendly activities and the annual Battle of the University Marching Bands.

For more information on all parade day events, and to purchase parade television area grandstand tickets, visit www.BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com or call 619/283-5808.

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