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The Big Balloon Parade Floats Through San Diego

— The 20th annual Big Balloon Parade will float through San Diego's Harbor Drive Thursday morning. Up to 100,000 people are expected to line the parade route.

The theme for this year's parade is "Let the Games Begin." San Diego native and former NBA star Bill Walton is the Grand Marshall.

As always, the giant balloons will be the main attraction. This year's lineup includes Betty Boop and Shamu the killer whale.

Port of San Diego spokeswoman Marguerite Elicone said it's not called America's largest balloon parade for nothing.

"It actually has more giant balloons than Macy's parade does," Elicone pointed out. "We have 22 balloons in the parade, and Macy's had about 15 this year at Thanksgiving."

Elicone said the show will go on rain or shine. Just before the parade starts, one thousand runners will compete in a 5K race on Harbor Drive.

Elicone recommended people who want to see the parade in person should get downtown well before the 10 a.m. start time.

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