Get Ready for the Poinsettia and Holiday Bowl Games in San Diego

Fireworks - Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

During the month of December, San Diego hosts not one but two bowl games at Qualcomm Stadium. While the bowl games will play out on the Jack Murphy Field, there will be plenty of family friendly and free events leading up to each game.

San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Trophy - San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

Who will be this year’s Poinsettia Bowl champions?

Since 2005, the Poinsettia Bowl has pitted a Mountain West Conference team against various opponents including Army, Navy and teams from the Pac-10 Conference. This year, the hometown San Diego State University (SDSU) Aztecs will take on the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars at Qualcomm Stadium.

Five Star Tours Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March

Battle of the Bands - Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March

Two bands march down 5th, only one will leave champion of the Gaslamp March

Two days before kick off (December 18, 2012) at 6:00 PM, head down to the Gaslamp Quarter for the Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March. Marching bands and spirit squads from SDSU and BYU will march down 5th Avenue from opposite ends playing holiday classics. When both squads meet up at market, the showdown begins with a Battle of the Bands. After the battle is over, the bands will continue their marches down 5th.

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108 (map)
Date: December 20, 2012
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM
Cost: $68-$150
> Purchase Your San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Tickets Now

Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Fireworks - Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

Catch the excitement at the Holiday Bowl

For 34 years, the Holiday Bowl has brought top ranking teams from conferences including the PAC-10 and Big 12 conferences to San Diego. This year the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins will play against the Baylor University Bears for the coveted Holiday Bowl trophy.

Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade

Marvel at America’s largest balloon parade along the Embarcadero

Before heading to the Holiday Bowl in the afternoon, spend the morning along the Embarcadero for America’s largest balloon parade starting at 10:00 AM. In addition to the parade, the festivities include the 16th annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals17th Annual Bumble Bee Foods 5K Run/Walk and a free Family Festival.

Location: Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108 (map)
Date: December 27, 2012
Kick-Off: 6:45 PM
Cost: $74-$268
> Purchase Your Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl Tickets Now

Grab a Bite Before the Bowl Games

Looking to fuel up with some delicious food before heading to one of the bowl games? Here are a few good options close to Qualcomm Stadium you should check out.

Getting to the Bowl Games


If you plan on driving to Qualcomm Stadium, give yourself plenty of time to snag a parking spot. Cars are $20 and RVs are $60. VIP parking for $60 is limited, so call 619.283.5808 to purchase. There will also be overflow parking options.

> Find out more Parking at the Poinsettia Bowl and the Holiday Bowl

Public Transportation

This is your best option for getting to Qualcomm Stadium without having to worry about parking. Just pick up a special day pass at a trolley station and take the Green Line to the stadium. There will be a special events trolley that runs from Downtown to the stadium. If you are coming from North County, take the Coaster to the Old Town Trolley Station and hop on the Green Line from there. Get times and trolley station locations at

> Find more outdoor holiday fun in San Diego

This entry was posted in Golf & Sports, San Diego Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , , by Brent Bernasconi. Bookmark the permalink.
Brent Bernasconi

About Brent Bernasconi

I am a local San Diegan (though surprisingly, I do not know how to surf). While not at work, I enjoy biking, running, soccer, bocce ball, craft brew (I hope to make a batch of home brew one day), reading, movies, and a video game here and there. My goal is to set foot in as many states, countries and continents as I possibly can (I have hit 14 states, 9 countries, and 3 continents), though I will always call San Diego home. How would you describe your ideal San Diego day?So after a good night's sleep, first I would take the puppy for a nice long walk. Then I would pack the bicycle panniers with a picnic lunch for the wife and I and we would ride over to Mission Trails for some trail riding and then a lovely lunch under the shade by the river. After the ride home, a shower and a nap would follow. Once rested, we would head out to the Blind Lady and enjoy a local brew and some organic pizza.If you were invisible, where would you go?Area 51! I would love to know what they are doing that is so top secret.What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?So many choices, but if I have to pick one I would choose bikingrunningsoccerbocceball. Though sitting outside with a good book on a sunny day would come in close second.Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?Nothing could be better than a San Diego Craft Beer (Hess, Stone, Ballast Point, Automatic, and many many more) and a burger with onion rings and BBQ-sauce. Though you will often find me boiling some pasta with a glass of wine in my hand and Ratatouille on in the background.Latest music purchases for my iPod/MP3 player are…A few albums by Jonathan Coulton, the ultimate geek musician. If you get a chance, listen to Code Monkey.If you like, you can follow me on Twitter @bernasconi.

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