Fun photos of 2018 Holiday Bowl Parade!

The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade headed down Harbor Drive the morning of New Year's Eve. Chilly, drizzly weather couldn't stop the America's Largest Balloon Parade!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Another super fun Holiday Bowl Parade has begun!
The San Diego Harbor Police Honor Guard helps to lead things off.
The San Diego Harbor Police Honor Guard helps to lead things off.
Here comes Marine Band San Diego.
Here comes Marine Band San Diego.
The first balloon is cheerful Cheri the Octopus!
The first balloon is cheerful Cheri the Octopus!
And here comes Carter the Sea Turtle!
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!
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 routine is so absurd you have to laugh out loud!
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.
Here come the Shawnee Mission North Marching Indians from Overland Park, Kansas.
Pageantry and marching bands make any parade exciting!
Pageantry and marching bands make any parade exciting!
That big balloon swimming under the clouds is Louie the Blue Whale!
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.
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!
These are the Norris High School Marching Titans from Firth, Nebraska!
Next up is the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
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!
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!
Herencia Hispana comes down Harbor Drive wearing elaborate dresses and folk costumes!
Beautifully swirling Mexican dresses delight the eye.
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.
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!
Danza del los Diablos. Looks like devilish fun!
Another marching band! This one comes from Palo Verde Valley High School.
Another marching band! This one comes from Palo Verde Valley High School.
Go Padres!
Go Padres!
That's one gigantic, happy Gingerbread Man! (Any relation to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?)
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?
Many in the audience suddenly became excited. Who is that approaching?
Here comes Northwestern University, one of the teams in the 2018 Holiday Bowl!
Here comes Northwestern University, one of the teams in the 2018 Holiday Bowl!
Banners twirl proudly!
Banners twirl proudly!
Members of the Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band thunder past!
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!
Willie the Northwestern mascot is up on the purple and white float with some cheerleaders!
That's one mighty big football!
That’s one mighty big football!
Members of Sports for Exceptional Athletes demonstrate their skill during the parade.
Members of Sports for Exceptional Athletes demonstrate their skill during the parade.
Look! Here comes the University of Utah!
Look! Here comes the University of Utah!
The Utes also had a big contingent in the Holiday Bowl Parade.
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!
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 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.
The University of Utah Marching Utes all appear to be having a great time.
More college football pageantry.
More college football pageantry.
Goodness! Here come even more balloons down Harbor Drive!
Goodness! Here come even more balloons down Harbor Drive!
It's Hog Heaven!
It’s Hog Heaven!
There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!
There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here! (My favorite.)
And here is the Deer Valley High School Marching Band!
And here is the Deer Valley High School Marching Band!
Snowman is either tipping backward in the breezy weather or gradually melting.
Snowman is either tipping backward in the breezy weather or gradually melting.
The San Diego State University Marching Aztecs precede Nicholas the Nutcracker!
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.
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!
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.
Darth Vader says hello to someone watching the cool parade!
A tiny TIE fighter and tiny Star Wars characters!
A tiny TIE fighter and tiny Star Wars characters!
Fantasy from the past follows fantasy from the future. It's Merlin the Wizard!
Medieval fantasy follows futuristic fantasy. It’s Merlin the Wizard!
Even more fun balloons! I see a San Diego Zoo Panda!
Even more fun balloons! I see a San Diego Zoo Panda!
It's the beloved Very Hungry Caterpillar!
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.)
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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 wheels!
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.
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.
Here come some Al Bahr Clowns.
I had fun! Did you?
I had fun! Did you?

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Walking through a maze of shining dreams.

Walking through downtown San Diego on a bright, sunny day is like navigating through a maze of shining dreams.

Eyes are dazzled by the city’s magic.

Visions rise at every turn.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A morning light show downtown!

Those who live and work downtown experienced a fantastic light show this morning!

All anyone had to do was look up!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Pages in the story of a city.

There are infinite pages in the story of any city.

Eyes briefly pass over the turning pages.

I lifted my camera to take a few photographs during my morning walk downtown…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

To read a few stories I’ve written, click Short Stories by Richard.

JOY appears on the Broadway Pier!

This afternoon I noted that JOY has magically appeared on the Broadway Pier!

Looks like the Port of San Diego is in the holiday spirit!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Photos of downtown, with sprinkles!

Our first storm of the season was tapering off this morning as I walked around downtown.

Here come photos of a damp city . . . with occasional sprinkles!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Christmas trees appear in downtown San Diego!

A bright, happy Christmas tree has appeared inside the Donut Bar.
A bright, happy Christmas tree has appeared inside the Donut Bar.

Many colorful Christmas trees have suddenly popped up all around downtown San Diego!

Step into the lobby of any elegant hotel or large office tower and you’re sure to be dazzled!

This morning and evening I walked through downtown searching for Christmas trees to photograph. A couple of my photos turned out a bit grainy due to dim lighting, but hopefully you get the sense of how amazingly beautiful many of these trees are!

I also got pics of some fun ornaments in shop windows!

One of the slender Christmas trees adding holiday cheer to the north entrance to the 701 B Street office building.
One of the slender Christmas trees adding holiday cheer to the north entrance to the 701 B Street office building.
A large Christmas tree has appeared in the lobby of the Wells Fargo building. When I dropped by in the morning it hadn't been decorated yet.
A large Christmas tree has appeared in the lobby of the Wells Fargo building. When I dropped by in the morning it hadn’t been decorated yet.
A beautiful, shining Christmas tree in the grand lobby of One America Plaza.
A beautiful, shining Christmas tree in the grand lobby of One America Plaza.
One of several creative, elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
One of several creative, very elegant Christmas trees in the lobby of The Sofia Hotel.
San Diego sand dollar and disco ball ornaments inside the window of Best of Gaslamp.
San Diego sand dollar and disco ball ornaments inside the window of Best of Gaslamp.
One of the dazzling Christmas trees in the posh lobby of the historic US Grant Hotel
One of the dazzling Christmas trees in the posh lobby of the historic US Grant Hotel.
A simply magnificent Christmas tree in the lobby of Symphony Towers.
A simply magnificent Christmas tree in the lobby of Symphony Towers.
A gorgeous Christmas tree inside the luxurious Westgate Hotel.
A gorgeous Christmas tree inside the luxurious Westgate Hotel.
A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.
A snowy Christmas tree inside the west entrance of the 101 W. Broadway office building.
A funny surfing Santa ornament in the window of San Diego Trading Company!
A funny surfing Santa ornament in the window of San Diego Trading Company!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!