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?

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Photos of Holiday Bowl bands at battle!

Tomorrow evening, on New Year’s Eve, the Northwestern Wildcats play the Utah Utes in the 2018 Holiday Bowl.

Late this morning the team marching bands, cheerleading squads and mascots battled each other! And every combatant sported a great big smile!

A good crowd of college football fans enjoyed the annual Battle of the Bands on the sunny outdoor Marina Terrace of San Diego’s Marriott Marquis.

I arrived just before the show began…

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!

Man lifts moon! Shark eats ice cream!

Like the mythical Atlas holding up the Earth, an incredibly strong person single-handedly shoulders the moon.
Like the mythical Atlas holding up the Earth, an incredibly strong person single-handedly shoulders the moon.

This morning I was astonished by the strange scene in the parking lot north of the County Administration Building.

I saw an incredible feat of strength, as a man lifted the moon with his shoulders . . .

I saw people engaged in giant pig tipping . . .

And I saw a monstrous shark about to take a bite of a strawberry ice cream cone!

Others might have observed people inflating a bunch of big balloons for the 2017 Holiday Bowl Parade.

Fun balloons were being inflated this morning near the County Administration Building for the 2017 Holiday Bowl Parade.
Fun balloons were being inflated this morning near the County Administration Building for the 2017 Holiday Bowl Parade.
Putting together a festive parade takes a bit of hard work and careful organization, it appears.
Putting together a festive parade takes a bit of hard work and careful organization, it appears.
This sunny San Diego float stood empty early in the morning on Harbor Drive.
This sunny San Diego float stood empty early in the morning on Harbor Drive.
Back where the Holiday Bowl Parade balloons were being inflated, a snow globe containing Frosty was rising like magic into the blue San Diego sky.
Back in the parking lot where the Holiday Bowl Parade balloons were gradually being inflated, a snow globe containing Frosty was rising like magic into the blue San Diego sky.
I've heard of cow tipping, but these people seem to be tipping a gigantic pig.
I’ve heard of cow tipping, but these people seem to be tipping a giant pig.
A gigantic shark prepares to take a bite from an enormous strawberry ice cream cone!
A monstrous shark prepares to take a bite from an enormous strawberry ice cream cone!

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 Chargers’ downtown stadium petition drive event.

Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!
Chargers football fans hold huge bolts for a photograph!

Here are a bunch of photos from today’s Chargers petition drive event in downtown San Diego. Our NFL team is seeking to have a new stadium built downtown, and a petition has been launched to put their proposal on the November ballot. The event brought several popular players and dignitaries to the spot where the proposed stadium would be built, and signature gatherers circulated among Chargers fans.

I had planned to check out a pop-up Shakespeare performance at the nearby Central Library at noon (I’ll blog about that shortly), but when I saw this rally was planned for eleven o’clock, I added it to my list of things to do! Personally, I enjoy watching the Chargers play on television on Sunday, but am not really a diehard fan. I agree it would be a shame to see them leave San Diego. They are a part of our history and community.  I’m not especially passionate about any particular stadium proposal–either Mission Valley or downtown. As a downtown resident, a new football stadium nearby (which would also be used in conjunction with the San Diego Convention Center) would bring a lot of excitement into the neighborhood. It might also create certain inconveniences.

Today’s big Chargers petition drive kickoff intrigued me, not because I’m an advocate for any side, but because I’ve become more and more philosophical as I’ve grown older. It’s interesting to simply observe human behavior.

Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
Lots of diehard Chargers fans were on hand Saturday for a big signature gathering kickoff sponsored by the San Diego Chargers organization, in their quest for a downtown stadium.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
People arriving at the San Diego Chargers downtown stadium petition drive event are asked to add their signatures.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Petitions were being signed on the sidewalk along Park Boulevard, where many homeless people camp in San Diego.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
Someone in the gathering crowd holds a Vote for Chargers Stadium sign.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers' downtown stadium petition.
One of several stations where people attending the event could sign the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It would also be used for conventions.
A videoboard showed various conceptual drawings of what the proposed downtown stadium would look like. It could also be used for conventions.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
Camera people get ready for the heavily promoted event to begin.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson's number.
A fan in a Chargers team jersey holds a poster that says Thank You 21. That was LaDainian Tomlinson’s number.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fairly large crowd has gathered in the parking lot near Petco Park where Padres fans often tailgate. The proposed stadium would be built here.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
A fan brought a football. Perhaps he was hoping for an autograph.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson's football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Footage of LaDainian Tomlinson’s football exploits was a big crowd pleaser.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers' downtown stadium petition publicity event.
Television news cameras and media photographers jam together to capture the Chargers’ downtown stadium petition publicity event.  It seems everyone has a role to play.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League's San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Faulconer rise in unison.
Dean Spanos, team president and CEO of the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers team takes the stage. Pre-made signs intended to shame Mayor Kevin Faulconer rise in unison.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League, advocates for a new football stadium downtown.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
LaDainian Tomlinson, one of the best running backs in NFL history, flew in from Texas for the event. He was clearly the crowd favorite and received loud cheers.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Philip Rivers, star quarterback of the San Diego Chargers, got the crowd excited during the petition event.
Several super fans take part in a ceremonial first signing on stage with the various dignitaries.
Several super fans take part in a “ceremonial first signing” on stage with the various dignitaries.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the event comes to a conclusion.
A blast of glitter and raised pom-poms from smiling San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders as the rousing event comes to a conclusion.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are many interested people on both sides of the issue.
After the event is over, someone holds up a cardboard Not Downtown poster. There are various interests on either side of the issue. Many people are passionate for one reason or another.  And of course a lot of money is at stake.

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Inflating balloons for the Holiday Bowl parade!

Getting a balloon ready for today's Holiday Bowl Big Bay Balloon Parade in San Diego!
Getting a balloon ready for today’s Holiday Bowl “Big Bay Balloon Parade” in San Diego!

The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade kicks off this morning at 10 o’clock on Harbor Drive near the County Administration Building!

At this very moment, folks are busily inflating the many fun balloons that will be parading down the Embarcadero to the delight of thousands of onlookers.

I can’t make it to the Big Bay Balloon Parade this year because I have to work. But I did get some cool photos that you all might enjoy!

People were out early this morning filling balloons with helium in the parking lot north of the County Administration Center.
People were out early this morning filling balloons with helium in the parking lot north of the County Administration Center.
A truck hauling helium, and numerous big balloon wait ready to be filled.
A truck hauling helium.  Numerous big balloons await, ready to be filled.
This fun-looking one is inflating!
This fun-looking one is inflating!
Looks to me like Humpty Dumpty. With all that gas inside, I think he'll bounce should he fall.
Looks to me like Humpty Dumpty. With all that gas inside, I think he’ll bounce should he fall.
A balloon has been wheeled on a platform across the parking lot, waiting its turn to be inflated.
A balloon has been wheeled on a platform across the parking lot, waiting its turn to be inflated.
Meanwhile, on Pacific Highway next to the County Administration Building, marching bands have begun to arrive for the parade! Highland High School came from Ewing, Missouri!
Meanwhile, on Pacific Highway next to the County Administration Building, marching bands have begun to arrive for the parade! Highland High School came all the way from Ewing, Missouri!
Band members get off the bus with instruments.
Band members get off the bus with instruments.
The balloon-filling had just begun when I walked by. Then I had to rush home to share my pics!
The balloon-filling had just begun when I walked by. Then I had to rush home to share my pics!
It's a happy gingerbread man rising in the blue San Diego sky!
It’s a happy Gingerbread Man rising in the blue San Diego sky!

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Cool people in San Diego donate to help kids!

Smiling Chargers football players helping to raise money for kids included Sean Lissemore, nose tackle, and Tyreek Burwell, tackle. Everyone was having a great time!
Chargers football players helping to raise money for kids today included Sean Lissemore, nose tackle, and Tyreek Burwell, tackle. Everyone was having a great time!

Today was Union-Tribune Kids’ News Day in San Diego! I can’t believe this is the third year I’ve blogged about the special day. Time flies!

Every October, smiling Chargers football players and cheerleaders, kids and volunteers station themselves at busy intersections around San Diego. Waving at folks in cars, they hold up special edition newspapers, printed just for this day, which motorists eagerly purchase. The proceeds go to help our local Rady Children’s Hospital.

In the morning I happen to walk through one of the key intersections while heading to work, so I had to take a few photos. This year I’d like to say thank you to the San Diego Chargers, Union Tribune and all the volunteers who make this possible. Over many years, millions of dollars have been raised by Kids’ News Day for Rady Children’s Hospital, helping to save thousands of young lives.

Do you want to donate? There’s no better cause. I urge you to click here!

A generous motorist at a Mission Valley intersection donates money for a special edition newspaper containing articles about kids, written by kids!
A generous motorist at a Mission Valley intersection donates money for a special edition newspaper containing articles about kids, written by kids!
Two cool volunteers raise money for Rady Children's Hospital by selling special newspapers during Union-Tribune Kids' News Day in San Diego.
Two cool volunteers raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital by selling special newspapers during Union-Tribune Kids’ News Day in San Diego.

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Photos of San Diego Chargers 2015 FanFest.

A kicked football flies into the stands during the 2015 Chargers FanFest.
A kicked football flies into the stands during the 2015 Chargers FanFest.

Today I took the trolley over to Qualcomm Stadium to check out the 2015 Chargers FanFest. San Diego’s NFL team is getting ready for the regular season, and during the popular FanFest a practice session was held in the presence of thousands of fans. Veteran players and those who are striving to make the team demonstrated their skills for coaches and fans alike!

In addition to action on the field, the annual FanFest also included a performance by the San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders, and autograph sessions with many past and current players.

I didn’t want to miss this event. It’s possible the Chargers might soon leave San Diego and move to Los Angeles. I hope not.

Thousands line up outside San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium to enjoy this year's Chargers FanFest. I saw many Seau jerseys being worn today.
Thousands line up outside San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium to enjoy this year’s Chargers FanFest. I saw many Seau jerseys being worn today.
Save Our Bolts advocate holds up a San Diego Chargers banner for my camera. There's a chance the NFL team will soon leave San Diego.
Save Our Bolts advocate holds up a San Diego Chargers banner for my camera. There’s a chance the NFL team will soon leave San Diego.
San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders smile as fans enter Qualcomm Stadium for FanFest.
San Diego Charger Girls cheerleaders smile as fans enter Qualcomm Stadium for FanFest.
Chargers faithful line up at a concession stand to get ready for an enjoyable FanFest.
Chargers faithful line up at a concession stand to get ready for an enjoyable FanFest.
Crowd fills field level seats, anticipating a good team practice on a perfect August summer day.
Crowd fills field level seats, anticipating a good team practice on a perfect August summer day.
The old Jumbotron reads Welcome to Chargers FanFest 2015.
The old Jumbotron reads Welcome to Chargers FanFest 2015.
As Chargers fans watch football action on the field, vendors circulate with cotton candy, lemonade and other treats.
As Chargers fans watch football action on the field, vendors circulate with cotton candy, lemonade and other treats.
Today NFL legend Junior Seau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A banner honoring number 55 hangs high and proudly in Qualcomm Stadium.
Today NFL legend Junior Seau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A banner honoring number 55 hangs high and proudly in Qualcomm Stadium.
Players on offense, defense and special teams were practicing all over the field, getting ready for the regular season.
Players on offense, defense and special teams were practicing all over the field, getting ready for the regular season.
Cornerback Richard Crawford on the Chargers practice squad catches a kicked ball.
Cornerback Richard Crawford on the Chargers practice squad catches a kicked ball.
Footballs were flying everywhere, including through the goal posts. Rookie kicker Josh Lambo nailed it.
Footballs were flying everywhere, including through the goal posts. Rookie kicker Josh Lambo nailed it.
Awesome field goal wizard Nick Novak limbers up his leg with some easy kicks.
Awesome field goal wizard Nick Novak limbers up his leg with some easy kicks.
Stretching out this valuable player's leg muscles involves professional sports medicine expertise.
Stretching out this valuable player’s leg muscles involves professional sports medicine expertise.
Shirt declares that all grandmas are created equal, but only the coolest wear blue and gold!
Shirt declares that all grandmas are created equal, but only the coolest wear blue and gold!
Superstar quarterback Philip Rivers provides leadership for the team during stretching exercises.
Superstar quarterback Philip Rivers provides leadership for the team during stretching exercises.
Here comes a line of Chargers stepping high during the warm up routine.
Here comes a line of Chargers stepping high during the warm up routine.
Some scrimmaging begins as players face each other and test their skills on the field.
Some scrimmaging begins as players face each other and test their skills on the field.
The pigskin bounces crazily on the grass as Chargers vie for possession.
The pigskin bounces crazily on the grass as Chargers vie for possession.
An animated fan in the stands gestures during the preseason practice session.
An animated fan in the stands gestures during the preseason practice session.
An exciting play near the end zone has players scrambling at full speed.
An exciting play near the end zone has players scrambling at full speed.
After a good workout, players offer some mutual congrats and encouragement.
After a good workout, players offer some mutual congrats and encouragement.
Practice is over, and King Dunlap signs autographs for thrilled fans in the stands.
Practice is over, and King Dunlap signs autographs for thrilled fans in the stands.
Chargers FanFest 2015 was a whole lot of fun. I hope San Diego's NFL team has a great season!
Chargers FanFest 2015 was a whole lot of fun. I hope San Diego’s NFL team has a great season!

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