Friday, January 1, 2010
Cheap Seats in Pasadena (Rose Parade, Part I)
January 1st our family trucked on over to Pasadena for the 121st annual Tournament of Roses.
We arrive around 9:30am and opted for what I refer to affectionately as the "cheap seats" - towards the very end of the Parade route. "Cheap," as in "free."
The Parade begins in front of the Norton Simon Museum on Colorado Blvd. After five miles, the Parade turns north on Sierra Madre Blvd. and works it's way through the much more residential and suburban neighborhood, where we were.
The Parade has to go under the 210 Freeway underpass. Over the years engineers have figured out how to lower the floats and then raise them up again once they get under the Freeway. Most make it, but a few don't. By the way, you'll notice there are no barricades or fences anywhere along the entire Parade route.
The huge bleechers (where all the TV cameras are) at the beginning of the Rarade route give way to lawn chairs and blankets five miles later.
Some people camp out overnight. I really like the Rose Parade, but that just sounds miserable. We opt to show up around 9:30am with some metal folding chairs to sit (or stand) on. Worked great for us.
This year's theme (there's always a theme) was "A Cut Above the Rest."
Instead of large comercial buildings, Sierra Madre Blvd north of the 210 Freeway is made up of modest, one-story suburban homes, giving the Parade a much more "home town" feel.
It was, once again, an amazingly friendly crowd. Supposedly, there are one million people along the Parade route watching it in person (I'm not sure how that number is actually verified).
More on the floats in the next post.