Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rose Parade (2012)

From 2012 01 Rose Parade

Twenty one marching bands. Eighteen horse units. Forty three large floats, all completely decorated with flowers and other natural materials. That can describe only one parade -- the annual New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Fulfilling a "bucket list" desire, we attended our first Rose Parade this year. Attending in person restores the entertainment value of parades that television coverage has increasingly sapped. No commercial interruptions, no obligatory pauses while minor celebrities lip-sync to the cameras, no announcers reading lame, scripted jokes. Only the full-on experience of floats, marching bands, horse units and an enthusiastic crowd. All in the glorious sunshine of southern California.

After the jump, a look at the pre-parade festivities and more photos.

Parade route the night before
From 2012 01 Rose Parade

To get the full experience, you really have to walk the Colorado Boulevard parade route the night before, where a carnival atmosphere prevails. Parade-goers begin reserving spots along the parade route 24 hours before parade start. By nightfall, they are there in force, with blankets, lawn chairs, air mattresses, grills and campfires. Kids spray passing cars with silly string and shaving cream, which the drivers cruising Colorado Boulevard take in stride, coming back down the boulevard for more. The celebrations go on late into the night. Most years, this pre-parade ritual happens on New Year's Eve, but because this year January 1 is a Sunday, the parade and game were put off until January 2.

All of our Rose Parade photos can be found here.
Photos from New Year's Day in Pasadena can be found here.
Photos from the Rose Bowl Game can be found here.


John Murphy said...


Fantastic photos of parade. Your stills are better than the TV version. Assume you enjoyed yourself. The weather looked great. Keep working on the bucket list.


Mark Steger said...

John, thanks for the kind words. I don't know about our still photos, but watching the parade in person was way better than any television version.