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SAN DIEGO — The Port of San Diego Holiday Bowl Parade wound its way through the Embarcadero Tuesday morning, creating a festive atmosphere and plenty of fun despite some challenges for organizers.

This map shows the new route for the Holiday Bowl Parade in 2021. (Photo: Port of San Diego)

More than 100,000 people were expected to gather along the route to watch the action for free from the street, though the total turnout appeared reduced due to gray skies and occasional rain showers.

Event staff told FOX 5 that the weather had the same effect on volunteers — a smaller-than-expected turnout paired with delays in helium deliveries meant that not all the balloons initially planned for the event were able to parade along the course. What was expected to be around 25 balloons — making it America’s biggest balloon parade — turned out to be around a dozen.

Those entries coupled with bands and other community organizations marching proudly down Harbor Drive still gave the event plenty of pizzazz for those who headed to the Embarcadero to enjoy the show.

This year, a new route started from the County Administration building, on Harbor Drive just south of Grape Street, and headed down past the B Street and Broadway Piers before briefly turning left on Broadway and heading a block east to the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway, where it concluded.

This year’s theme was “New Beginnings” and featured San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove, an El Cajon native of recent no-hitter fame, as the grand marshal.

The parade kicked off a full day of festivities downtown. The Holiday Bowl also brings the first football game ever to Petco Park.

You can watch UCLA vs North Carolina State on FOX 5 at 5 p.m. Coverage starts with a special edition of the FOX 5 News at 4 p.m. and then college pregame at 4:30 p.m.

Watch a livestream replay of a portion of the parade in the player below:

Check out our full Holiday Bowl viewing guide, including transportation tips, parking information and more.