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The 2012 Big Bay Balloon Parade, one of the events leading in to the annual Holiday Bowl, will go forward despite construction ongoing along the traditional Harbor Drive parade route downtown.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 27, but shortly before that about a thousand runners are expected to take place in the Bumble Bee 5K race along the parade route. They’ll be followed by marching bands representing this year’s Holiday Bowl participants Baylor University and UCLA, along with high school bands, a handful of floats, and more than two dozen giant inflatable balloon characters.

This year’s parade will run down Harbor Drive until reaching Ash, when it will jog east to Pacific Highway and continue along this alternate route to the conclusion.

Because parking is always a nightmare, parade sponsor the Port of San Diego is asking spectators to consider carpooling or, better yet, using public transportation to get downtown.

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