"America's Largest Balloon Parade" Returns December 30

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ImageThe Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade presented by San Diego County Credit Union is set to step off at 10 a.m., Thursday, December 30th. The parade is a Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl production and annually attracts more than 100,000 viewers to Harbor Drive’s scenic bay-front route.

This is a nationally and locally televised attraction; the USA Network will carry the national broadcast, while Channel 4 San Diego will produce the event and air it locally. The national broadcast is scheduled for Friday, December 31st at 9 a.m. ET/PT. Channel 4 will broadcast the event live, and rebroadcast it several times.

“The mission of the bowl association is to generate tourism and exposure for the San Diego region,” said Eric Graves, president of the 2010 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl. “Thanks to the parade and those who put countless hours into this tremendous project, folks all around the country will get to enjoy a great event, and all the beauty San Diego has to offer.”

Recognized as “America’s Largest Balloon Parade,” the event features more giant helium-filled character balloons than any parade in the country. Inflatables slated to soar include Thomas the Tank Engine, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Betty Boop, and Bob the Builder. In all, the balloons flying in the 2010 parade will require 46,000 cubic feet of helium.

NBA hall of famer, Emmy award winning broadcaster and native San Diegan, Bill Walton, will be leading the fun as Grand Marshal.

Other events surrounding the parade include the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals, Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run and the Amtrak Family Festival.

The 2010 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals pits eight of the fastest dachshunds from all over the Southwest United States against each other on a 56-foot track. “Sully” beat out more than 400 dachshunds in August qualifying to earn the San Diego spot in the finals. The winner will be featured in the parade aboard the Wienerschnitzel float. It starts at 9:30 a.m. in the parade television area.

The Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run kicks off the parade at 9:45 a.m. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each division. Registration is still open. Runners will run in tens of thousands of spectators.

At the conclusion of the parade, families can enjoy the Amtrak Family Festival near the B Street Cruise Terminal. This is a free event with scores of family-friendly activities and the annual Battle of the University Marching Bands.

For more information, and to purchase parade television area grandstand tickets, visit www.BridgepointEducationHolidayBowl.com or call 619/283-5808.

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