The 2018 Holiday Bowl Parade headed down Harbor Drive the morning of New Year’s Eve. Chilly, drizzly weather couldn’t stop America’s Largest Balloon Parade!
It might’ve been a bit more chilly and breezy than usual for San Diego this New Year’s Eve morning, but the 2018 Holiday Bowl Parade was just as fun as ever!
The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade, which proceeded down Harbor Drive along the Embarcadero, is billed as America’s Largest Balloon Parade. This year the parade featured the two college football teams that are competing in the 2018 Holiday Bowl: Northwestern University and the University of Utah. The big bowl game is kicking off right as I post these photographs!
Without further ado, here we go!
Before the Holiday Bowl Parade began, three cool old biplanes made a fly-by. Trailing smoke is a 1941 Boeing Stearman; the other two are Great Lakes.
The Solar Turbines 5K run begins down Harbor Drive shortly before the parade.
Northwestern University and University of Utah fans wore their colors up and down the parade route.
Barricades are moved as the Holiday Bowl Parade is ready to begin!
First up is WorldStrides on Stage. They will perform the halftime show at the Holiday Bowl football game in the afternoon.
Another super fun Holiday Bowl Parade has begun!
The San Diego Harbor Police Honor Guard helps to lead things off.
Here comes Marine Band San Diego.
The first balloon is cheerful Cheri the Octopus!
And here comes Carter the Sea Turtle!
San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts waves from the Wonderfront float. San Diego’s waterfront is indeed full of wonders!
I wish I’d gotten a better pic of this funny group: The World-Famous Lawn Rangers! Their synchronized routine is so absurd you have to laugh out loud!
Here come the Shawnee Mission North Marching Indians from Overland Park, Kansas.
Pageantry and marching bands make any parade exciting!
That big balloon swimming under the clouds is Louie the Blue Whale!
And now I see good old Garfield! He’s giving somebody the thumbs up.
These are the Norris High School Marching Titans from Firth, Nebraska!
Next up is the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
Bob the Builder has either lost his balance or the breezy weather had gotten the better of the balloon’s handlers!
Herencia Hispana comes down Harbor Drive wearing elaborate dresses and folk costumes!
Beautifully swirling Mexican dresses delight the eye.
Chinelos dancers were viewed with astonishment by many in the audience. It’s an unusual Mexican tradition popular in the state of Morelos.
Danza del los Diablos. Looks like devilish fun!
Another marching band! This one comes from Palo Verde Valley High School.
That’s one gigantic, very happy Gingerbread Man! (Any relation to the friendly Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?)
Many in the audience suddenly became excited. Who is that approaching?
Here comes Northwestern University, one of the teams in the 2018 Holiday Bowl!
Banners twirl proudly!
Members of the Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band thunder past!
Willie the Northwestern mascot is up on the purple and white float with some cheerleaders!
That’s one mighty big football!
Members of Sports for Exceptional Athletes demonstrate their skill during the parade.
Look! Here comes the University of Utah!
The Utes also had a big contingent in the Holiday Bowl Parade.
Swoop, the Utah mascot had a bit of trouble donning that Santa hat!
The red and white Utah Utes float with smiling cheer squad passes by.
The University of Utah Marching Utes all appear to be having a great time.
More college football pageantry.
Goodness! Here come even more balloons down Harbor Drive!
It’s Hog Heaven!
There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here! (My favorite.)
And here is the Deer Valley High School Marching Band!
Snowman is either tipping backward in the breezy weather or gradually melting.
The San Diego State University Marching Aztecs precede Nicholas the Nutcracker!
SDSU, a local university with a great sports history, marches with pride through downtown San Diego.
The San Diego Star Wars Society is always a sure hit with young and old alike in any parade!
Darth Vader says hello to someone watching the cool parade!
A tiny TIE fighter and tiny Star Wars characters!
Medieval fantasy follows futuristic fantasy. It’s Merlin the Wizard!
Even more fun balloons! I see a San Diego Zoo Panda!
It’s the beloved Very Hungry Caterpillar!
It’s Mother Goose. (She must be taking a break from her big annual parade out in El Cajon.)
More pageantry and excitement. It’s the Green Valley Marching Band!
Yikes! Here comes the scariest Holiday Bowl Parade balloon of them all! Tessa the T-Rex!
U.S. Naval Sea Cadets march past and receive many waves.
The parade program calls this balloon entry Saxophone. It sure is a big one, though!
The Bobcat Marching Band came to San Diego from Western Dubuque High School.
During a break in the parade I turned my camera toward San Diego Bay and captured the nearby Star of India.
From the world’s oldest active sailing ship to a space shuttle! This particular balloon Space Shuttle was taxiing down Harbor Drive on tiny wheels!
You know these guys simply had to be in the parade. It’s the Al Bahr Shrine and their Tin Lizzies.
Here come some Al Bahr Clowns.
I had fun! Did you?
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