We happen to live very close to the location of a national treasure New Year tradition: the Pasadena Rose Parade. I know, lucky ducks! The parade began years ago, 1890 in fact, in celebration of Southern California’s beautiful weather. While much of the country is often buried under a blanket of snow (and we’re all a bit jealous of that just one week prior when “White Christmas” just doesn’t really apply), the flowers are still blooming here so the parade began as a way to showcase the flora and fauna of our climate. The floats are still required to have all surfaces covered in natural materials like plants, flowers, seeds, etc. They are works of art and feats of engineering, as many include animatronic features.
Thousands camp out along the parade route all day and night New Year’s Eve to get sidewalk seats, and hundreds of thousands more cram grandstands the morning of the parade. While we’ve joined those ranks before and it is fantastic fun, in recent years, we’ve opted for the comfort of our own home New Year’s Day like the many millions watching the broadcast around the globe. But, our favorite tradition is trekking down to Orange Grove Boulevard around midnight on New Year’s Eve and joining the crowds milling up and down the street as the stunning floats are marshaled in the staging area.
It’s fun to marvel at the incredible detail up close and even get to talk to the volunteers and professionals who have put in the hard work of designing and building the massive works of art. The mood is festive as the floats slowly make their way into the lineup and locals and visitors meander the street with party garb and cheery greetings of “Happy New Year”!
This year was particularly fun as Eddie, rather than falling asleep or generally being considerably cranky, was at a great age for soaking in the sights and getting excited about the massive “towers of flowers”, as he referred them. Xanderman, ever the expressive one, would gasp out loud and point!
I love the representation of teamwork and general hard work the floats showcase. The whole party-of-a-parade is amazing with the equestrians and marching bands too, but the bedecked floats are absolutely unique. You have to see it to believe it! The attention to detail, the massive display of design and creativity, the masterful engineering are an embodiment of science-meets-art! What a way to ring in the New Year! May it be a great one! Cheers!