America’s largest balloon parade is floating back into town—downtown. But the parade's not all that's going on. There's a run and a festival too.
Coinciding with the Bridgepoint , the takes place early Wednesday on the bayside streets of downtown. The morning begins with world-class marching bands, dedicated drill teams and lots of floats.
The grand marshal of the giant spectacle, r, resides in Coronado, and will lead the balloons and thousands of participants down the streets of downtown.
You can click here to see a birds-eye view of the parade route so you can stake out your spot accordingly. More than 100,000 spectators are expected to watch the large balloons make their way down the streets.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m., following the awards for the early morning Bumble Bee 5K. After the parade, more festivities will take place on Broadway Pier with games and entertainment at the annual Amtrak Big Bay Family Festival. The family festival will include children's activities, like carnival games and airbrush tattoos, a battle of university bands and some sports, in honor of the Holiday Bowl which begins at 5 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.
The family festival and Big Bay Balloon Parade are both free to everyone, but if you’re looking for a spectacular view, seating is available. You can buy grandstand tickets for $20 at will-call.
Make sure you plan for parking at meters (bring those quarters!) or bring cash for event parking. The best parking lot is at the corner of Pacific Highway and Broadway, according to the event site.
Another tip? The best viewing is in the grandstand seating near the Maritime Museum because that is where specialty units and bands will perform for the telecast. Cox Channel 4 will broadcast the parade for those who aren’t willing to brave the crowds.
Hope everyone has some super-sized fun at the Big Bay Balloon Parade!