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While game was canceled, San Diego's Holiday Bowl Parade marched on

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San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove waves at the crowd as the 2021 Holiday Bowl Parade Grand Marshal, Dec. 28, 2021.

While the Holiday Bowl football game was canceled, the Holiday Bowl Parade marched on as planned Tuesday morning.

Padres fans even got a special treat with a familiar face leading the parade as Grand Marshal: Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove.

Musgrove said leading this year's parade is an honor.

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“Being from San Diego, this is something we look forward to every winter, watching the parade on TV at home and then going to the games or catching the game at a bar with some buddies. So it's cool to be inside of the working of it and be a little more involved this year,” he said.

The parade was canceled last year due to COVID-19. This year the event continued as planned.

“The challenges this year, we had a little bit of a weather challenge, but as long as it's not high winds it's pretty easy for us to do the parade,” said Marvin Heinze, the chairman of the parade.

Heinze said the parade balloons are the highlight of the show. Every year they make sure to have more balloons than the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.

“This is the largest balloon parade in the country. We have 25 balloons scheduled, we have 11 bands, we have 30 to 35 specialty units, baton twirlers and military vehicles and things like that,” he said.

Local high school bands and community dance and cultural groups marched all the way down Harbor Drive as the crowd cheered them on.

Padres Joe Musgrove leads Holiday Bowl Parade as Grand Marshal

North Carolina State University and the University of California Los Angeles marching bands also performed at the parade, before the news that the game had been canceled.

Despite the wet and cold temperatures, the parade brought crowds of locals and tourists.

“It’s the first parade my son has ever seen, so we figured it would be a good time to come down and see what it’s all about,” said Geoff Teal, a San Diego resident.