We were up before 5:00 AM and struggled through a coffee-less fog getting ready for a 6 o’clock luxury bus ride to downtown Pasadena and our reserved grandstand seats. However, compared with what thousands of spectators were suffering through (some had been camped out along Colorado Boulevard for days while others were being nicked upwards to $300 per day to park near the parade route in their RVs) we felt like royalty!
By the time we arrived near our seats, Colorado Boulevard was already becoming a sea of humanity.
We made a beeline for the block of seats our Rally operator had blocked out (and which they’ve had for some 35 years). I stalked out two seats for Debbie and I where I would have a great view of the parade as it approached and passed by. THEN … some idiot from the parade staff forced our group to relocate to another section a bit further down the street. Still, I found a good location for photographing the event.
Meanwhile, Debbie and several other folks decided to head for the many Port-a-Potties despite the fact the lines were already running 30 minutes or more … before 7 AM!
Just after she left, our Rally staff managed to locate someone from the parade organizing group who agreed that we were entitled and supposed to sit in our original section. So, we had another mass move. However, this time, I’d lost any hope of an ideal photo shooting location. Up the parade route there were some temporary structures which were going to intrude in many, if not most streets of approaching floats and bands. We were also lower and closer to the street giving us an improved opportunity to take unintended pictures of the backs of people’s heads and parade officials walking and driving along the parade route. And, unfortunately, there is no way to avoid those distracting overhead wires, street lights and poles and buildings in the background.
As we were having a fantastic time, I decided to just enjoy the day and pageantry!
Oh yes, I did call Debbie on her cell to let her know of our new seating location.
Aside from a modest but steady stream of joggers,
Not to be outdone, there was a Michigan State fan riding back-and-forth to the delight of what appeared to be several hundred boisterous Spartan fans seated directly across from our location.
Overhead, a skywriter also greeted us as did the Goodyear blimp About the time we caught the first signs the parade was starting, the last of the joggers sped past. I guess it was his time for his fifteen minutes of fame.
The following pictures are a combination of those taken during the parade and others taken this afternoon at the Float Showcase where all of the floats hare parked along Sierra Madre Boulevard for the public to see them and talk with some of the people involved with their design and construction.
While it is not true that if you’ve seen one band or group of horse riders … you’ve seen them all. But I have chosen to omit most of those participants and concentrate on the actual floats.
Our first indication the parade was underway was a flyover of the
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE THUNDERBIRDS
Appearing at their 60th parade, this is the first official performance since the Thunderbirds were grounded in April 2013 due to the federal budget sequester
Overhead we also spotted another iconic visitor to most major parades and sporting events.
PASADENA PRECISION MOTOR CYCLES
HONDA PACE CAR
WELLS FARGO THEME FLOAT
WELLS FARGO OPENING SHOW FLOATS
Five independently powered units representing iconic moments in history (Model-T Ford with ragtime music, Charles Lindberg’s first transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis with jazz and flapper dancers, Rosie the Riveter accompanied by big band sounds, Neil Armstrong’s moon landing with 1960’s Rock and Roll and finally a DJ spinning hip hop music)
AMERICAN HONDA FLOAT
USMC COLOR GUARD AND BAND
As each float passed, it was amazing to see how each had been decorated with flowers, petals, seeds, fruit, vegetables, greenery and even live trees
WESTERN ASSET MANAGEMENT FLOAT
Past President’s Trophy Winner
CITY OF GLENDALE FLOAT
Governor’s Trophy Winner
HAWAI’I ALL STATE MARCHING BAND
Clearly the most colorful band … but I still can’t understand why the gals all went wild over the first two marchers
DOLE PACKAGED FOODS FLOAT
Sweepstakes Trophy Winner
To qualify, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding, at least four years of age, stand 72” at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,400 pounds, have a bay coat, four white stocking feet, a white blaze and a black mane and tail
DONATE LIFE FLOAT
The lanterns illuminate 30 riders, each of whom is a grateful organ or tissue transplant recipient, with 12 living kidney donors walking on foot beside the float – Theme Trophy Winner
SIERRA MADRE ROSE FLOAT ASSOCIATION FLOAT
The float Debbie and I worked on and the young ladies we met
FARMER’S INSURANCE FLOAT
WELLS FARGO STAGES
SINGPOLI GROUP FLOAT
The winged-horses marking the Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac – Extraordinary Trophy Winner
Carrying the Parade Queen and her Princesses
LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL GRENADIER BAND
THE NEW BUFFALO SOLDIERS
LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES ASSOCIATION FLOAT
Bob Hope Humor Trophy Winner
NAGOYA MINAMI HIGH SCHOOL GREEN BAND
Our favorite from the Bandfest … still dancing to Gangnam-style renditions
CITY OF HOPE FLOAT
SOUTH PASADENA TOURNAMENT OF ROSES FLOAT
DOBYNS-BENNETT HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING INDIAN BAND
Note the drum face. Remo, Inc., a pioneer in drumhead technology, has been the official drumhead provider to all of the bands in the Tournament of Roses® Parade for 35 years.
STELLA ROSA WINES FLOAT
Judges Special Trophy Winner
K9’s 4 COPS FLOAT
KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL FLOAT
MICHIGAN STATE FLOAT AND MARCHING BAND
THE NORCO COWGIRLS RODEO DRILL TEAM
BEVERLY HILLS PET CARE FOUNDATION FLOAT
TRADER JOE’S FLOAT
KAISER PERMAMENTE FLOAT
The crowd loved this float and the antics of the “babies”, which were real people not mechanical creations … also a sad commentary, note the gal texting (shortly after, she dropped her smart phone and had to dig through the flowers to find it) – Lathrope K Leishman Trophy Winner
STANFORD UNIVERSITY FLOAT AND MARCHING BAND
CITY OF ALHAMBRA FLOAT
TORRENCE ROSE FLOAT ASSOCIATION FLOAT
NBC’s “THE VOICE” FLOAT
HERMANOS BANUELOS CHJARRO TEAM
One of several groups of riders demonstrating roping skills
CAL-POLY UNIVERSITIES FLOATS
The two parts of this float-combo were designed independently at two or Cal-Polly’s campuses – Crown City Innovation Trophy Winner
REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA FLOAT
Director’s Trophy Winner
THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
SHRINER’S HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN FLOAT
Volunteer’s Trophy Winner
DOWNEY ROSE FLOAT ASSOCIATION FLOAT
Founder’s Trophy Winner
SCRIPPS MIRAMAR SADDLEBREDS
BURBANK TOURNAMEN OF ROSES ASSOCIATION FLOAT
Fantasy Trophy Winner
CHINA AIRLINES FLOAT
International Trophy Winner
PUBLIC STORAGE FLOAT
Grand Marshall Trophy
HOMEWOOD PATRIOT BAND
Which truly provides everyone an opportunity to participate
CALIFORNIA APPALOOSA HORSE CLUB
ROTARY ROSE PARADE FLOAT COMMITTEE FLOAT
CITY OF LOS ANGELES FLOAT
SEA WORLD FLOAT
Note the police security around the Sea World float. There had been threats of demonstrations and disruptions by folks from the PETA organization (several of whom were arrested prior to the float reaching our location) – President’s Trophy Winner
UNDERGROUND SERVICE ALERT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FLOAT
Animation Trophy Float
ODD FELLOWS AND REBEKAHS FLOAT
NORWEGIAN FJORD HORSE REGISTRY
CITY OF BEVERLY HILLS FLOAT
AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION FLOAT
Two men were joined in secular matrimony as the float passed by the television position at the corner of Orange and Colorado Boulevards – Isabella Coleman Trophy Winner
LUTHERAN LAYMAN’S LEAGUE FLOAT
Princess Trophy Winner
USA JUMP ROPE – PALPITATING PANTHERS
THE LUCY PET FOUNDATION FLOAT
A dog jumping “Double Dutch” and another retrieving airborne Frisbees – Craftsman Trophy Winner
LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL FLOAT
Tournament Special Trophy Winner
WINGTIP-TO-WINGTIP ASSOCIATION FLOAT
National Trophy Winner
ALL AMERICAN COWGIRL CHICKS
XPOGO STUNT TEAM
GRAND FINALE FLOAT
No sooner had the final float passed than the street began to fill with spectators anxious to return to the buses, cars or hop a shuttle to the Rose Bowl if they were going to the game (as of this morning the going price was $185 and up per seat). Others were on a mission to spread their gospel of religion, anti-fracking, campaigns against gay rights and assorted other causes
Late this afternoon, it was root beer floats (in celebration of the floats we’d seen today) … Debbie and I could not recall how long it had been since we’ve enjoyed one.
After the amount of food we’ve been fed these past few days, no one was really hungry for dinner so we got together some of our new friends for a couple of hours before heading back to our coach and an early “to bed”!