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San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade Set to Float Down North Harbor Drive

Organizers tout the event as America's largest balloon parade, featuring huge inflatables designed as childrens' characters.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The 23rd annual Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade is scheduled for Monday morning along Harbor Drive, part of festivities running up to tonight's Holiday Bowl college football game.

Organizers tout the event as America's largest balloon parade, featuring huge inflatables designed as childrens' characters. Marching bands from the Holiday Bowl schools, Arizona State and Texas Tech, will perform.

"The Big Bay serves as the stunning backdrop for what truly is one of the nation's best parades," said Bill Geppert, president of the 2013 Holiday Bowl. "Hundreds of community-minded volunteers and several dedicated sponsors have made this an event ... we are so proud to present.'

The parade begins at 10 a.m. in front of the County Administration Center and travels along North Harbor Drive to near Seaport Village. Retired Rear Adm. John "Mac' McLaughlin, president and CEO of the USS Midway Museum, will be the grand marshal.

A half-hour before the parade begins, the finals of the 2013 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals dog races for daschunds, along with a 5K run for people, will take place on the Embarcadero. Wiener fanatics, coaches and their sausage-like athletes prepare all year for the race, according to fast- food chains website.

Spectators for all of the pre-game festivities are encouraged to use public transportation, since around 100,000 usually attend the festivities.

The football game between the Sun Devils and the Red Raiders will kick off at 7:15 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.

—City News Service

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