Parade Information

When is the parade?
This year’s parade is Thursday, December 26th at 3 p.m.

What streets are closed?

  • Harbor Drive from Grape to Broadway
  • Pacific Highway (one southbound lane) from Grape to Ash
  • Pacific Highway from Harbor to Broadway
  • Harbor Drive from Broadway to Pacific Highway


  • National Funding 5K Start: In front of Wyndham Hotel
  • National Funding 5K Finish: Ruocco Park
  • Telecast Area: In front of the Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • Grandstands: In front of the Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • Ticket Booth and Will Call: Blue/White tent south of the Grandstands
  • Parade Disband: On Pacific Highway between Harbor and Broadway
  • First Aid: Ambulance located at Broadway Pier, the 5K Finish and at Parade Headquarters
  • Toilets: Along route

What time does the Parade start? End?
Leaves staging area at 2:50 p.m. Telecast begins at 3:00 p.m. Ends at 4:30 p.m.

Where does the Parade start?
Near the County Administration Building on Harbor Dr. It runs south on Harbor.

Where does the Parade end?
Corner of Harbor Dr. and Pacific Highway near Seaport Village

How much are grandstand tickets?
Each grandstand ticket is $22. Tickets ordered after December 15th are will-call only. Every purchase is subject to a $2 processing fee. If sitting on your lap, children 3 & under do not need a ticket.

Where is the best viewing of the parade?
The best viewing is in the grandstanding seating near the Maritime Museum because that is where specialty units and bands will perform for the telecast. In addition to the grandstand seating, anywhere along the parade route will also offer excellent views.

Can I watch the parade on television?
Yes. The parade is telecast live on Fox Sports San Diego. Check your local listing for channel/times outside of San Diego, CA.

How can I / my group be in the parade?
There are two ways to be in the parade:

  • Volunteer
    The parade needs hundreds of volunteers to assists with parade operations. Volunteers are needed to carry balloons, banners, assist with the 5K run and post-parade activities. Minimum age for balloon handlers is 15 and banner handlers is 5 with adult supervision.
  • Special Unit
    Along with the balloons and other entries, the unique specialty units allow this Holiday Bowl event to thrill over 100,000 spectators along the waterfront on Harbor Drive in beautiful downtown San Diego. Entries will be judged on originality, uniqueness and entertainment value. The Parade’s Entry Review Committee will review all entries and their decision is final.

How do I get to the parade?

  • Directions from East County
    Take I-8 West to Highway 163-South. Continue on 163 into downtown and make a right on Broadway. Continue down Broadway to the parade site.
  • Directions from North County
    Take I-5 South and exit Front St. Make a right at Broadway. Continue down Broadway to the parade site.
  • Directions from South Bay
    Take I-5 North and exit on 6th Avenue. Take a left on 6th Avenue. Continue down 6th to Broadway. Make a right on Broadway and continue down to the parade site.

Where should I park?
Park in one of the many metered or pay parking lots in the downtown area or take the trolley. Please note that parking meters are NOT free. See the route map here for all parking locations around the parade.

Some close locations include:

  • BRIC North and South (corner of West Broadway & Pacific Highway)
  • Wyndam San Diego Bayside (access from Pacific Highway)
  • Hilton San Diego Bayfront – 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101 (15 minute walk)
  • San Diego Convention Center – 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego 92101 (10 minute walk)
  • B Street Pier or Navy Pier – Note that both of these lots will have no entry/exit from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Is there public transportation available?
In San Diego, visit for the most current trolley and bus schedules. The nearest trolley stop to the parade route is the America Plaza stop on the Orange Line. Exit towards Broadway and turn right down Broadway to the Parade route.

From North County, visit for the schedule for the COASTER train. Exit at the Santa Fe Depot station and walk three blocks West.

What other festivities does the parade entail?
In addition to the parade other festivities include the National Funding 5K which steps off at 2:45 p.m.

Is there food available at the parade site?
There are various cafes and restaurants along the parade route which sell food and drinks. The parade does not accept food vendor participation.

Is there an admission fee to the parade?
Street-side viewing of the parade is free of charge. Grandstand seating is available for $22 per person. All orders subject to a $2 processing fee.