In spite of the threats of mudslides, earthquakes, and hillside fires, waking up every January 1st in my house is a treat. From my living room window you can hear then see the B-2 stealth bomber fly overhead to open the Rose Parade. This is definitelyÂ the highlight of my day…except for the one year my neighbor decided to wake Pasadena up by climbing on his roof in nothing but his Santa red boxer shorts to videotape the flight. I’m not sure which was louder, the rumbling of the $2 billion engine or his trunks. My eyes, my eyes! But if I’m really lucky, I get to catch the second plane when it flies over the Rose Bowl around 2pm as the football game begins.Â
I’ve probably lined up to watch the Rose Parade about 3 or 4 times, and each year I tell myself I need to volunteer to build one of the floats. It would have been fun to blog about the experience here–to show you an insider view of how these magnificent floats come to life, completely adorned in natural materials from roses to seaweeds toÂ pumpkin seedsÂ to tree bark. But since I forgot once again to volunteer, the next best thing I can do is show you close up pictures of floats on post-parade display. For $10, you can park then ride (on a yellow school bus!) from the Rose Bowl to the park where the floats are showcased for 2 days.
If you think thisÂ is merely pageantry andÂ not a money maker, take a look at this foot traffic:
This year’s theme is Hats Off to Entertainment. Let the battle of the floats begin!Â You may want to get some popcorn at this point…there are lots and lots of photographs coming up:
One of my favorite floatsÂ pays tribute to The Wizard of Oz:
In case you wonder where they hide the driver of the float:
I loveÂ floats withÂ animals…
This is a crowd favorite…how can you go wrong with Godzilla and King Kong andÂ the Lone Ranger on the same stage?
Better yet, they move to music:
I can’t leave out pictures of the gang from Sesame Street:
I don’t envy the judges their decision making process. I’d want to give a blueÂ ribbon to every single float just for effort. But gun to head, I’d choose these next two as my top picks. The firstÂ depicts the Mad Hatter’s tea party:
Then the next isÂ a whimsical garden scene by Vera Bradley–do you see the wonderful handbags?
And since we’re talking about purses, I might as well throw in a pair of shoes (this is the Jack in the Box float!):
Can’t wait till the war of the roses starts again next year!