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!

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!

A surprising encounter with Santa Claus.

Last year I published an original short story called An Encounter With Santa Claus. This isn’t the jolly Santa Claus we usually see.

The story has a touching ending.

If you are curious and would like to read a short work of fiction that concerns human compassion, click here.

Merry Christmas!

Santa Claus is on his way to San Diego!

I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego's festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.
I see the holidays are being celebrated at San Diego’s festive Old Town Model Railroad Depot.

I just checked the Official NORAD Santa Tracker and I see that Santa Claus and his flying reindeer are presently distributing presents to everyone on the good list in Amsterdam. According to that website he has already delivered over 3.5 billion gifts. Santa must use one of those magic Harry Potter bags!

I’m so excited!

Santa Claus should be arriving in San Diego, California very soon now!

Look! It's Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!
Look! It’s Santa! He has arrived in Old Town San Diego already! He must have hitched his flying reindeer to this old wagon instead of a sleigh!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everybody!

And Happy New Year, too!

Lots of fun and surprising blogs coming up!

Take care and keep on smiling!

Richard

A nautical Christmas in the Model Shop!

Step inside the Steam Ferry Berkeley of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and you’ll see nautical Christmas decorations in the Model Shop!

A bright Christmas tree is ornamented with ships, boats, signal flags and lighthouses. It even appears that Santa Claus has been repairing and cleaning one model ship in the small workshop. I guess his elf helpers are busy making toys up at the North Pole!

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!

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!

Art, crafts and fun at December Nights!

I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!
I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!

Another year, another wonderful December Nights in Balboa Park!

I headed across the Cabrillo Bridge at noon today, just as the second day of San Diego’s big annual holiday event got underway.

I prefer to wander through December Nights in the early afternoon. The sun is out, the air is warm, and the feeling is unhurried and carefree. I miss the magical Christmas lights after dark, but I also avoid the hectic press of huge crowds.

I’ve blogged December Nights for so many years now, I thought I’d try for a new angle in 2018 and focus on all the holiday art and crafts one can see while walking around. As usual, however, I ended up taking photos of anything fun that happened to catch my eye.

Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the historic Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre's gift shop was well stocked with nasty green Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre’s gift shop was well stocked with vile, nasty Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club's colorful tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club’s candy and cookie bedecked tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
Another Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
Another Christmas tree at the annual Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
A group of children called Let's Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
A group of children called Let’s Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking to see if children have been good at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking his list to see if children have been naughty or nice at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater's roof.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater’s box office roof.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

If you love Balboa Park, and would like to help restore the beloved Starlight Bowl, please take a moment to visit the Save Starlight website here!

I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there's going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there’s going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!

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!