Exploring San Diego


Holiday Bowl parade 2019: Where to watch, park downtown

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Posted at 2:23 PM, Dec 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 20:56:31-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More than 100,000 spectators are expected to line Harbor Drive this month for the annual Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade.

Dubbed "America's largest balloon parade," the seasonal spectacle brings a procession of massive balloons, marching bands, and dancers to San Diego ahead of the collegiate Holiday Bowl game at SDCCU Stadium.


Catch the Holiday Bowl Parade starting on Dec. 26 at 3 p.m. near the County Administration Building on Harbor Dr. The parade will head south on Harbor Dr., coming to an end at the corner of Pacific Highway, near Seaport Village.

The parade is free to view, but tickets to watch from the Grandstand will cost $22 each, or $25 the day off.

Check out the parade route here.


Multiple streets will be closed along the parade route for the parade starting at 7:45 a.m.:

  • Harbor Drive from Grape to Broadway
  • Pacific Highway (one southbound lane) from Grape to Ash
  • Pacific Highway from Harbor to Broadway
  • Harbor Drive from Broadway to Pacific Highway


Parade goers are encouraged to use ride-sharing services, MTS trolley service, or park in a nearby metered lot or spot. Street parking and lot space is available on a first come, first serve basis.

Nearby parking lots include:

  • BRIC North and South (corner of West Broadway & Pacific Highway)
  • Wyndam San Diego Bayside (access from Pacific Highway)
  • Hilton San Diego Bayfront (1 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101)
  • San Diego Convention Center (111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego 92101)
  • B Street Pier or Navy Pier: These lots will have no entry or exit from 12:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The closest trolley stops to utilize are County Center/Little Italy, Santa Fe Depot, America Plaza, Courthouse, and Seaport Village stations.

From North County, visit gonctd.com for the schedule for the COASTER train. Exit at the Santa Fe Depot station and walk three blocks west.


The best viewing area is near the Maritime Museum of San Diego, according to officials. This is where specialty units and bands will perform for television networks. But being along the Embarcadero, you'll be hard-pressed to find a scenic viewing location.