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Friday, January 1, 2010

A Cut Above the Rest (Rose Parade, Part II)

Huge, flowered covered floats are the highlight of the Tournament of Roses (aka the Rose Parade). This year's Parade, based on the theme A Cut Above the Rest, was no exception.

Our spot (where we sit) is along Sierra Madre Blvd, just north of the 210 Freeway. It's towards the end of the Parade route, and allows us to show up around 9:30 and still see the Parade in it's entirety.

I'm always impressed by the floats sponsored by local Los Angeles area cities: Burbank, Downey, Cerritos, Duarte, West Covina, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena (am I forgetting anyone?). Here's the beautiful float sponsored by the nearby city of Alhambra. Nice job!

Of course, the corporate sponsored floats are equally as impressive. Here's the China Air float, featuring a Chinese Dragon. I'm not sure how they were able to work in the theme A Cut Above the Rest. No matter. Regardless of the theme, there are always seems to be at least one or two dragons in every Parade.

Here's the second one: a large, green origami dragon, which - of course - moved up and down. Very creative and impressive! One of the stipulations for the Tournament is that every float has to be completely covered in organic material. The float builders get very creative.

Here's the Kaiser Permanente float. I like that fact that most corporate floats have nothing to do with the produce of service they provide. Just something beautiful and amazing to look at.

Here's the back side of that same float. Once again, we were able to enjoy a bright, sunny New Year's Day with temperatures in the 60's. It's only rained once on the parade in over fifty years. Incredible, really.

This undersea themed float "Jewels of the Pacific" was sponsored by the city of Downey. As we were sitting or standing on metal folding chairs towards the back of the crowd, I was able to follow some of my favorite floats for a block or so, snapping pictures. This was one of them.

I'll finish with this amazing float from the city of Burbank. It featured a barnstorming plane (a nod to their city's regional airport and history with aviation) with some incredible animation: the plane moved up and down ....

... soaring and twisting! Again, the entire float is covered in flowers and other organic material. Wow.

Really fun. Many thanks to the thousands of volunteers that allowed us, and a million or so of our closest friends, to kick off and celebrate the New Year.

Some final thoughts on the Parade in the next post.


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