"America's Largest Balloon Parade" Returns December 28, 2011

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2011_paraderelease_news.jpgThe 21st 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., Wednesday, December 28th. The parade is a Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl production and annually attracts more than 100,000 viewers to Harbor Drive’s scenic bay-front route.

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 30th at 8 a.m. ET/PT. Channel 4 will broadcast the event live, and rebroadcast it several times.

“We are so proud of this event,” said Chuck Wasker, president of the 2011 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. “Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, folks all around the nation will enjoy a tremendous parade, and all the beauty San Diego has to offer.”

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 Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Raggedy Ann and Andy, Leonardo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Chugginton. In all, the balloons flying in the 2011 parade will require 50,000 cubic feet of helium.

Retired Vice-Admiral Edward H. Martin 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 Amtrak Family Festival.

The 2011 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals pits eight of the fastest dachshunds from all over the Western United States against each other on a 56-foot track. “She’s Motorin” 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 tens of thousands of spectators.

At the conclusion of the parade, families can enjoy the Amtrak 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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