Thousands of spectators lined a downtown street today to witness the Port of San Diego's Big Bay Balloon Parade.

The parade, now in its 18th year, featured a procession of 22 giant balloon characters, including Mighty Mouse, Clifford, Horton from Dr. Seuss' "Horton Hears a Who!" and Mr. Potato Head.

Kermit the Frog led the parade as it made its way along Harbor Drive, from Cedar Street to Seaport Village.

Marching bands from both universities slated to take part in tomorrow's Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, along with groups from area high schools, also performed in the parade.

The spectacle is part of the festivities surrounding the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl, which begins at 5 p.m. tomorrow at Qualcomm Stadium. The game will pit the University of Oregon Ducks against the Oklahoma State University Cowboys.