SAN DIEGO — Oregon and North Carolina will play each other in the Holiday Bowl, which is set to kickoff inside Petco Park later Wednesday.

One of the biggest events surrounding the football game is the big parade. It kicked off Wednesday morning in downtown.

Every year, tens of thousands of people come out to Harbor Drive to watch the Holiday Bowl Parade, which organizer describe as America’s largest balloon parade.

“There are more balloons in this parade than any other parade in the country, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade,” said Mark Neville, CEO of the Holiday Bowl.

Even non-college football fans make it a tradition to come out and watch the balloons and bands next to the bay.

There are many festivities surrounding the big bowl gameThere is even a 5K that happened Wednesday morning through the streets of downtown. It’s the first time the 5k and the Holiday Bowl parade has returned since the pandemic.

Also, the first 10,000 people to enter the stadium for the event are going to receive free SeaWorld tickets.

And speaking of firsts, it will be the first ever football game played in San Diego’s Petco Park.

“All of this to kick off of the SDCCU Holiday Bowl tonight at Petco Park, the first time ever there,” said Neville.

The gates for the Holiday Bowl open at 2 p.m. and kickoff is set for 5 p.m.