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Rose Pedals on the Streets of Pasadena: Coverage of the Rose Parade 2017

All / Art / Fashion / Lifestyle & Culture / Travel / April 23, 2017
Rose Parade 2017

The 128th Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, California

 

  The beginning of a new year brings a lot of things with it. For some people, that could be the promise of new beginnings or even new promises (and sometimes those new promises are really just old promises from years past. But, that’s a story for a different time). Usually though, when either of those things are promised, it tends to be attached to something else. I myself wanted to shake a few pairs of dirty drawls that were following me around from the year prior. Now, don’t get the wrong idea here. Those things that I wanted to shake had nothing to do with bad habits or anything else that I would be embarrassed to admit. But, rather they were things that I wanted to accomplish going into the new year. I had promised myself that I would try harder at the things I was doing, and even more that that, try to make a few people proud. Those people in particular belong to the team that I have with our magazine. But, that in and of itself, is a story for a different day. The one thing that I will say though, is that this new year really had something special going for it. 2016 was already a year filled with all kinds of amazing things that had happened, and with the new year upon us, there was a lot of excitement in the air. But, one cannot go into the new year without first getting through the year you are in already. To me, that has always been a bit of the same old, same old. Except, that is, for one year way back when.

  Every year starts out with a routine that I have perfected over the years. While the places and people I may be with the night of New Years’, it’s what happens the next day that tends to stay the same. Depending on how much I end up partying (you can fill in the blanks here as to what I did on any given New Year’s night. I’ll I will say is that whatever it is, a gentleman never tells, haha), I will wake up accordingly the next day. I like to stay in until around 9 or 10 in the morning. Anything longer than that usually will usually make me extra tired. I know it sounds funny, but, if I sleep too long, I end up waking up groggy and not a happy camper. But, once I am awake and ready to roll there is one thing that I love to do. I have done it every year since I was a kid and to this day I feel as though my year hasn’t really begun until I do it. That one thing just happens to be why I am so excited to talk about it. That one thing is the Rose Parade.

  Every since I was a kid I have been fascinated by the Tournament of Roses Parade. On New Year’s Day it is a hard event to miss though. Being blasted on repeat (on good old Channel 5 in the Los Angeles area)throughout most of the day, there’s a pretty good chance that if you live in the LA area that you will no doubt catch the parade on television. The trick is to catch the parade before the sun goes down. Watching the show at night throws off my juju for the day, so, that is for me a huge no-no. But, I’ve always loved waking up and walking over to the television just to see the parade. The parade takes place early morning, and starts at 8am on the dot. That means that before the parade even comes close to starting, people have already been working hours, if not, days just to prepare for the event. The spectacle is so big, and just seeing all of the people at the event had always made me wonder what it was like in person. You have to understand. This parade has a reputation that extends not just to people in California, but, to people all around the world. It is incredible, and much moreso when you think of all of the talent that pools in Southern California prior to the show happening. I mean, who wouldn’t love to see these massive, larger than life parade floats made of flowers and all kinds of organic materials in person? It’s a lot to describe, but, seeing the floats, horses, high school bands and all of the tradition that is packed into one event is more than enough to get anyone excited. I sure was as a kid, and as the years went on that would grow exponentially. I was lucky enough once to not have to wonder what it would be like in person.

 

The early morning fly-over of a B2-Spirit Bomber

The early morning fly-over of a B2-Spirit Bomber

 

The US Marines marching at the front of the parade

The US Marines marching at the front of the parade

 

  After years and years of sitting in front of the boob tube on the first of the year, I was given the chance to go check out the parade in person. It was the late-90’s and I was in my last year of middle school. While it seems like it was so long ago, in a lot of ways, it feels as though it was just yesterday. I was young then, and I never thought that I would be going to the parade (part of that had to do with the fact that I very rarely wake up early on a day that I was not going to school) to see it in person. But, that would be the case one fateful year and best of all, we would have preferential seating and would be sitting mere feet from parade hosts Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards (legends in the field of television and broadcasting). It didn’t mean much to me when I had first heard about the seats. That was until we actually sat down and realized just how lucky we were to be sitting where we were. It’s a surreal experience and one we were eternally grateful for. We didn’t expect to ever go to the Rose Parade in that fashion, let alone be sitting two rows back from the very front. We didn’t grow up with a lot of money, so, events like that were usually out of the question. Sure, from time to time we would go camping or travel somewhere. But, when it came to sporting events or anything that cost a lot of money for tickets, that was usually out of the question. I had brothers and sisters, and at the time, my dad was not too much older than how I am now, so, we had to stretch the dollars out as much as we could. So, when this opportunity to see the parade in person came up, I jumped at the chance. It was also nice knowing that my pesky brother and sister wouldn’t be joining us on the trip. It would be my dad and I, and the show that I had always imagined to go to. 

  It was a few weeks earlier that I found out that we would be going to the parade. It turned out that someone that worked with my mom had preferential seating tickets to the Rose Parade and unfortunately for them, they were unable to go to the parade. Fortunately for us, the were friends with my mother and they donated the tickets to her. I guess deep down they knew that we wouldn’t pass up the tickets. I honestly didn’t mind how it happened, but when it did, I remember punching the air with excitement. Normally that’s the case when I get home early from work (or, at the time, getting home early from school). But, this time, it was genuine elation and I couldn’t wait to go. My mom didn’t feel like waking up super early that morning, so, she asked if my dad wanted to go in her place. With a resounding, “Yes!”, it was official. And just like that, after years of imagining what the parade was like in person, we would finally live what we had been wanting to be a part of for so long. Would it live up to the beauty and pageantry that the show exhibited on tv? Well, we would finally find out and I would never be the same again. 

  The Rose Parade is an event that takes place on New Year’s Day, every year. It has taken place every year since January 1st way back in 1890. With a pedigree like that, it’s easy to see just how many generations an event like this has touched, and even moreso knowing that this is an event that has gone far beyond our local borders. It is quite magnificent, and for the first time we would finally be going. Little did I expect just how massive an undertaking it would be to see the show. It was bad enough that my dad was waking me up at zero-dark-thirty, but, oh boy, the crazy hornets nest that we walked into was more than I could have ever imagined. From the moment that we hit Pasadena City Limits we were heading full steam into the onslaught of parade go-ers.  At nearly every turn, and for hours upon hours before the show had started (we got there way beforehand so that we could fill our bellies with breakfast and have plenty of time to find our seats) we were just amazed at all of the last minute preparations going on. On the main street that the parade route was taking place and all of the connecting ones were full of people getting ready for what was about to go down.

  With each passing moment you could feel the tension rising. Hearts were beating, and people’s voices began to get louder and louder. The countdown had begun and we were in the thick of it all. We made one quick pass of the floats before we took our seats, and you could see that the people connected to those floats were anxious to get the show on the road. From the white suiters (the official staff of the Rose Parade. Of which, is comprised of volunteers selected for participation in this huge event) to the beautiful members Royal Court of the parade itself, everyone was awaiting the show start with full anticipation. It wasn’t long after we had made one pass through the main street that the white-suiters began to clear the streets. Like the parting of the Red Sea, people cleared the streets. In no time at all, the main roads were clear through the middle and everyone began looking up to the sky. You would think, why would anyone bother to look up when the main attraction is going to be happening right in front of us?

 

The Court of Roses waves to the crowd

The Court of Roses waves to the crowd

 

USC Parade Float commemorating their role in the Rose Bowl

USC Parade Float commemorating their role in the Rose Bowl

 

  Back when I was a kid, one of the most incredibly complex and secretive aircraft of all time was unveiled to the public. The US has had a long history of being at the forefront of aviation technology, and in the late 80’s we were introduced to two aircraft that proved this through at the highest level. The F-117 Nighthawk and the B-2A stealth bombers were astounding when they were released. There had never been anything like those aircraft seen before. When those aircraft were first shown everyone around the world lost their collective minds, and people including myself could not believe that any planes that looked like those could even exist. To know that they had been in development since the 70’s was even more astounding. But, even a few years after those aircraft were unveiled, and after they had participated in the Gulf War, they were still shrouded in secrecy, and very few people ever got to see them in person. That was until it was announced that one of them (the B-2A Spirit) would be making a flyover of the Rose Parade. When I found this out, I was completely floored. As a huge aviation buff (thanks in huge part to my dad), I was chomping at the bit to see this plane in action. Little did I imaging that I would one day be going to the Parade itself, and to add a cherry on top of that awesome sundae, my dad and I would be awarded the opportunity to see this now legendary aircraft. Even now I am just elated at the prospect of seeing this plane in person. I was in the Air Force for ten years and only once did I ever get to see the B-2(A) in person, so, to say that I get excited to see that marvel of engineering is quite an understatement. 

  To think that in just a few moments we would be seeing something that I had only seen in pictures up to that point. I didn’t know it at the time, but, the Air Force had just turned 50 years old, and to celebrate the occasion, they sent one of those bombers to do a flyover of Colorado Blvd. (the main road that the parade travels down). That tradition has survived since then, and every year at least one B-2  makes the trip from its base at Whiteman in Missouri. There has been at least one year that they B-2 didn’t flyover (back in 2014), when the Air Force Thunderbirds made the flight instead. But, at that moment, when we all looked to the sky we could all see that sleek triangle-shaped aircraft flying through the air. Without making much more than a faint sound, and seemingly floating through the air the entire crowd at the parade stood silent. We all watched as that magnificent airplane gracefully flew right over our heads and down Colorado Blvd. Without hesitation the entire crowd erupted in cheers and everyone lost their minds. I remember being a little glassy eyed myself. It was awesome. I would have been happy to have come just for that one moment in time. But, alas, that was just the beginning. 

  As soon as the B-2 streaked past us, the first sounds of music began to pour over the audience and within a few minutes the first of many bands and floats began to file their way towards us. I don’t remember much in the way of the floats that day (well, years later now), but, I can tell you that I do remember being enchanted by all of the things in front of me. Whether it was the incredible attention to detail (much of which you never get to see on television and really have to experience it in person) on the floats or the bands from around the world playing their little hearts out, it really is a sight to behold.

  That is why, after almost twenty years of not having been back to see the parade in person, I was doubly excited to go back. This time though, it would be in a whole different context. A lot of years had passed since the last Rose Parade that I attended, but, this time I would be going in an official role. In those nearly twenty years of a break since coming to the parade (but, certainly not from watching it every year), a lot of things had happened, and one of those was putting together Spektrum Magazine. Spektrum has been a labor of love for me the last three years, and it is something that has consumed me every hour of every day. The main driving force behind the magazine has been to showcase the amazingness of the world in which we live and the people that are a part of it. But, unlike a lot of other outlets, we wanted to entrench ourselves into the worlds that we would be talking about. A lot of work has gone into making this dream a reality, and thankfully during those relatively few years of being around we have been fortunate enough to attend a lot of incredible events and places. But, even though we have been able to sit front row to a whole host of happenings, the one event that had completely slipped my mind was the one that I had been so fond of many years ago. That event, the Rose Parade, was one thought that I also never thought that I would be able to go to (as media). You see, when you have an event that is as internationally famous as the Rose Parade, it almost seems like a pipe dream to be able to go. The demand to go to such things is always overwhelming, and more often than not, being as small an outlet as we are, we tend to get sidelined for the bigger media conglomerates. But, alas, even though that has been the case many times, on the flip-side, I have been able to attend stuff that I would have never dreamed of going to. The Long Beach Grand Prix is one such event, and something that I am still shaking with excitement to have been able to go to. So, taking a shot in the dark, I decided to see if we would be able to see the Rose Parade from the other side of the fence (so to speak). What happened next would make the youngster in me come out once again. 

 

Marching band all the way from Mexico

Marching band all the way from Mexico

 

Exercising on an actual float during the parade

Exercising on an actual float during the parade

 

  Back in November we were invited to go shoot at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. That show is one that we had been to before and really loved it. For the first time though, we would be fortunate enough to cover the red carpet and meet a few celebrities. Never before had we had the opportunity to be a part of something so incredible, so, at the time, and even now, it was a fantastic experience. So, feeling a little over confident (and high on life), I decided to take a shot in the dark and apply for media credentials for the Rose Parade. Now, I did so knowing full well that we would not be accepted, but, I thought I would try anyways. After living a lifetime of being turned down by women (that’s a story for a different day), I have always figured that the worst that anyone can say is “No”. I fully expected to be denied entry to the show. This would have been especially sad though, because I was asked by one of our friends (Pete) from the Air Force Mini Jet team if we could make the show. Not wanting to let he and the crew down, we totally jumped at the chance to go check this show out. Little did I expect that, not long after the Christmas Parade we would have our credentials approved and myself and our reporter (Daynie) would be going to one of the biggest shows in the world. For the first time in almost twenty years and (even more important) we were going to see the show from an angle that most people never get to see it from. From the angle of the media. Even as I write this, I am still happy about how the whole thing went down and I am constantly pumping my fist in the air in happiness of the whole situation. If all those girls rejecting me to go out on a date was worth the trip of going to the Rose Parade, I can honestly say it was worth it. After all, it was their loss to begin with. 

  After what seemed like less than a week (it was more like five, but, then again, around the holidays time does not like to stand still) from the time of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the day of the Rose Parade had finally come. I was wondering what this show would be like. After not having been there in person for almost two decades I had thought about it quite a bit. In that time I have been to a lot of events, and one thing I have learned, it’s that every year, no matter the event, there has been a higher attendance to them. Even if it didn’t seem like it, there are more and more people getting out and checking things out. With the rise of social media, the ability to pass on information has sped up significantly. If you have ever seen a flash mob, then, that is definitely a good example of what is possible with the power of social media. This event though, already has a massive following. So much so, that it is known around the world. That made me think a lot about it the night before. I knew that if we were going to see the show, we would have to be on the road super early. Considering I am not an early morning riser, this would be particularly hard. Thankfully though, this year, we were given a little break, and the Rose Parade would take place on January 2nd, instead of the usual New Year’s Day. 

  The Rose Parade usually takes place on the first morning, of the first day, of the first month of the year. But, there is one exception to that rule. That rule just happens to take place when the parade lands on a Sunday. It may sound a little odd, but, there is some sound reasoning to that logic. But, that story goes back many, many years. In fact, it goes back almost to the time that the parade had started. When the parade first started its run in Pasadena, the city was nowhere near the size it is today. Back then, the city as well as the parade was a lot more quaint. In those days, horses and carriages were a real part of the landscape. Part of the parade path passed right in front of the main street then, and it was during those moments when all of that commotion would disrupt the horses that stood near the path. Not only that, but, Sunday parishioners would also tend to be distracted by the happenings of the event. Considering there was to be no work done on Sundays (for many followers of the faith), it made a lot of sense to allow the parade to happen on any day that wasn’t on a Sunday. While the parade has become a lot bigger than what it was back then. Nowadays, there is no way to hide the parade. It’s so big, that it practically shuts down the city and everything around it. But, even with that being the case, that tradition has held true, and to this day the parade does not take place if it is on a Sunday. 2017 just happened to land on a Sunday, and thankfully for us (both myself and Daynie, our reporter), we have a little extra time to recover from the New Year.

  On that day though, we rushed our way over to Downtown Pasadena. At that early in the morning, traffic is virtually non-existent. Especially on the first of the year. But, that wasn’t the case the closer we got to the downtown area. I kid-you-not, the moment we took the last exit before the parade route, an ocean of cars and people greeted us. A virtual parking lot of cars stood between us and pretty much anywhere we wanted to park. I knew it would be bad, but, not that bad. As I stood there in the car with one eye barely open (it’s pretty much what happens when you go off of just a few hours of sleep), I looked over to my right and saw a little bit of despair in Daynie’s eyes. Even though she was about as awake as I was, I could sense that she knew that we would be walking a long ways to get to the parade. I don’t normally like to park very far when I am with one of our female counterparts, but, this was one of those special cases. I could care less normally if I get tired, sweaty or have my feet full of blisters (like what happened at this last CES Show). But, when our reporter is looking beautiful and is wearing high heels, it makes me feel bad to have her walk that far. But, it was either we park far and make the walk, or we risk missing any part (or all of) the parade. Thankfully, Daynie is a trooper, and she wanted to be there as much as I did. She pushed on, and as always, she did not complain about anything. She is so awesome, and I cannot be more thankful to be working alongside someone as intelligent and determined as her. 

  After what seemed like an hour trying to find parking, we found our spot about a mile away from our spots. While it was pretty far away, the amount of things we would see along the way there would more than make up for it. In fact, without even knowing it, we stumbled across the most scenic route that we could have possibly found. Walking uphill (in the snow, backwards, and uphill both ways) towards Colorado Blvd. we walked past a small park. Normally we would have just passed by the park, but, we noticed that there was quite a bit of commotion going on. As we got closer, we noticed a giant tipi and a lot of people hooting and hollering. To my surprise, it turned out that it was a gathering of protesters for the Dakota Access Pipeline. I didn’t know where they would be going, but, it seemed like they would be making their way over to the parade route. Whether or not this would make an impact at the parade itself was yet to be seen, but, it was a bit of a surprise. This is one of the things more than likely never sees the light of day on television. For the people there though, this is a movement that is indeed very real. 

  A little further up the street and past the crowd, we caught a glimpse of an even bigger crowd of people. As we knew that we were coming up to the main street where the Tournament of Rose Parade house is (yep, you read that right. There is a house called the Tournament of Roses, and it is marked with the logo for the Rose Parade itself) I figured we would see more and more people. But, what was exciting about that was that even as far away as we were, you could see bits and pieces of the parade floats. Without even knowing it, we had not only uncovered a secret (well, to us anyways) protest, but, we had also found the parade float staging area! I didn’t know that the floats were positioned so close to the start of the parade run, but, this was a most welcome surprise. I knew it was awesome, and as I looked over at Daynie, the expression on her face really showed how surprised we bother were. Even though we were pressed for time, and the closer we got to our seats, we were able to walk down the main street and see a considerable amount of floats. It was hard not to stop every two feet and take a gander at the floats. Sure, there were more people there than bees in a hive, but, still, the beauty of the floats was something to behold. 

 

Parade float honoring the victims of the Orlando Shooting

Parade float honoring the victims of the 2016 Orlando Shooting

 

Awesome float from the City of Hope

Awesome float from the City of Hope

 

A pair of the US Air Force's Mini Jets

A pair of the US Air Force’s Mini Jets

 

  I had been to the parade many, many years ago. In that time, I had watched the parade every year at nearly the same time. But, if there is one thing that I had forgotten, and something that you don’t really get a good look at on television, is all of the detail in the floats themselves. Sure you hear about all of the seeds, fruits and rare plants they use to put them together. But, it’s not until you are right up close and personal to the floats that you see all of the craftsmanship that goes into the building of the floats. I remember the very first float we saw that day stopped me dead in my tracks. I can’t remember what float it was, or even the theme of that one in particular, but, I remember staring in awe at the details present throughout. You see, when the parade is on television, you get a pretty good sense of scale of the floats. It’s easy to see just how awesome they are and how big they are in relation to the people right next to them. But, the one thing you can’t really see is all of the organic material used in the construction. That first float we saw at this parade stunned me in what I saw. Just in one section alone there were several rows of flowers attached to the side of the float. Underneath that were at least three rows of Granny Smith apples lined up and outlining the artwork. What blew my mind was knowing that, for people like myself watching the whole thing from home, you would never get a good enough view to see those apples. I know I wasn’t the only person that noticed, as nearly every person around me stopped to take pictures and could not stop commenting on the beauty of the art in front of us. These masterpieces of art and engineering are only fully appreciated in person, and should be experienced by everyone.

  As much as we loved checking out the floats (and believe me, we did), we had to stop gawking and make our way to our area. Never had we been to the press staging area, so, instead of missing any of the parade, I urged our reporter to shake a leg and high tail it over there. While I knew it was a bit of a walk, there were hundreds (or even thousands) of people in our way, and that would surely slow our way to where we needed to go. Luckily for us, the white-suiters (official parade ushers and hosts) posted up along the road were really helpful in getting us where we needed to go. Even though it took us what seemed like an eternity, we finally made it to our seats. Little did we know just how incredible those seats were. Little did we know, just how lucky we were to be there, and to be a part of such a special event. Not only were our seats located right near the front of the parade grounds itself, but, we our seats would face the oncoming floats and down the whole of Colorado Blvd.! I remember when we finally sat down and turned to face the whole view I nearly went under cardiac arrest. Not so much because of anything bad, but, just from the shock of how lucky we truly were. I knew from that moment, that even though I had only three hours of sleep going into that day, that the struggle had been worth it. Everything leading up to that moment was just part of the journey that would end with the parade. Just knowing that mere feet from where we were sitting, Al Roker and the cast of Good Morning America were broadcasting live was exciting. 

  Within ten minutes of sitting down there was that feeling of being a kid again. The parade was starting and everyone’s eyes turned towards the skies. Just like it was back when I was younger, the B-2 stealth bomber was on its way and streaking its way towards Pasadena. Not a sound was made in the crowd as the plane approached us. It wasn’t until it was a little less than a mile out when the entire crowd lost their minds and everyone was cheering. We knew from that moment that we were about to kick off the New Year with a jubilant bang. When the bands begin to play and you can see the high schools play their instruments it is time to get comfy, because this parade is on! 

  The view we had of all of the oncoming floats was second to none. We could see at least a block or two down on either direction. That would help too since I had to time the shots just right. I didn’t expect the parade to be as organized as it was, and the talent that came was on time, every time. There were times where some of the bands tried to showboat, and took a little bit of extra time as they rounded the corner in front of us. Funny thing was, that by doing that, they ended up having to run just to catch up to the folks in front of them. That happened pretty often in front of us too. We were at the intersection of Colorado and Orange Grove Blvd. and the wide turn caused some confusion with some of the teams there. It was funniest when you had some of the smaller teams that had to round that corner at double the speed that anyone else did. Once they got going though, they kept on streaming down the roads at a fast pace. I had to pace my shooting just to make sure I didn’t overshoot or miss anything. It was hard to do also. Everything deserved a lot more pictures than I was able to shoot. There were so many moments that stood out in my head that day. Some of those things were things I did not expect, and some I was surprised to see. 

  As a huge hockey fan, the float honoring the hundred-year anniversary of the NHL was one of the highlights for me. Every team was represented on the float (including my beloved Ducks), and it was nice seeing the love that they got as they passed on by. While the sport really took off in Canada, the fact that it has become an international phenomenon is nothing short of spectacular. It was definitely a highlight for me to see. The logo on the float would become a patch that all of the hockey teams in the NHL would wear on their uniforms as well. Very cool indeed.

  One of the other floats that really caught my attention was one that had a giant monkey man with a flaming sword. While it sounds like I totally made that up after a late night of hitting the bongo tongo, the truth is that it is a float based on a Chinese book called the “Journey to the West”, and that character is the “Monkey King”. It sounds a little loopy, but, believe me when I say, it was really awesome to see. The design itself just dwarfed everything around it.

 

Tommy Trojan walking down the street ready to take on all combatants

Tommy Trojan walking down the street ready to take on all combatants

 

Our friend Peter driving a mini P-51 Mustang during the Rose Parade

Our friend Peter driving a mini P-51 Mustang during the Rose Parade

 

  While those two weren’t the only floats there, a lot of them just have to be seen to be believed. One in particular, stole the show. That float (if you could even call it that), was on record as being one of the biggest floats ever. In fact, that float was so huge, that it barely cleared the corner that we were sitting at. This float was put together by the Lucy Pet Foundation and featured a massive see through water tank. What was that tank for? For surfing dogs no less! How in the world is that even possible? Well, this massive 126-foot float featured a huge water tank that you could see from all sides. In that shallow water tank, there were dogs that were pushed from one side to the other whilst they rode surfboards. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Sure, it definitely does, but, once you see it you can’t help but be amazed and overwhelmed by all of the cuteness. It was a showstopper for sure, and considering everything was already a showstopper, it was hard to top. But, then again, it isn’t about being the best. It’s all about sending a message and impressing anyone and everyone. 

  One of the other highlights for me was seeing the Air Force band and the mini jets. I knew from before the show that my buddy would be heading to the Rose Parade for the first time, and he would be doing so with the Air Force Band. Even though it has been a while since I’ve been in the military, I do still feel a connection to that time, and anytime I hear about anything related to the Air Force, I still dream of the “Wild Blue Yonder”. I remember telling Daynie that they would be there, and all throughout the show we waited anxiously to see them. When they finally came in sight, Daynie yelled out to say they were coming. She was just as excited as I was to see my old brothers in arms. Unfortunately, they were coming in fast, and I only had a few moments to snap some shots and still see them roll by. It may have gone by faster than I was prepared for, but, I still had a sense of pride as they rolled on by. It’s always nice seeing friends as part of something big. And, you definitely don’t get bigger than Rose Parade! Seeing my buddies Rick and Peter drive those mini jets down the street was awesome, and you could tell that every kid in the stands would have loved to have had one for themselves. 

  There was a lot to see that day. I thought that with all of the talent that they were packing that day, that this parade would last hours upon hours. To my surprise, it was over fairly quickly. At least in the area where we were at. The pacing was brisk, and as such, everything went by fairly quick. But, to tell you the truth, this show was a lot better than I remember. I had always had fond memories of when I went to the parade many moons ago. But, this time around, I had a fonder appreciation for life and the things it had to offer. I was also amongst friends and had one of the most amazing seats in the house. It was awesome, and for those of you that have never been to the parade in person, do yourselves a favor and check out the parade. A lot of people do. Some are local, and many of them come from far and wide. The parade has a worldwide name, and going there, it’s easy to see why. There is something for everyone, and it would be a disservice to miss out on one of the icons of the American experience. I can’t stop thinking of the fun time I had then, and hope that you too can experience it. Hopefully, I will see you all there in 2018 when the Tournament of Roses comes back to Pasadena. Maybe next time around, I’ll make it over to the Rose Bowl game as well. I am sure that would be a lot of fun! Cheers to all of you, and enjoy this year and everything that comes with it.

 

From Georgia, the Mr. Luther King Jr. High School marching band

From Georgia, the Mr. Luther King Jr. High School marching band

 

Winner of the theme trophy "Teammates in Life"

Winner of the theme trophy “Teammates in Life”

 

The other half of the Rose Bowl, the Penn State parade float

The other half of the Rose Bowl, the Penn State parade float

 

I love this bright and colorful float!

I love this bright and colorful float and it’s cute theme!

 

Members of the Army Calvary Division

Members of the Army Calvary Division

 

Waving those flags down the street

Waving those flags down the street

 

Members of the Arcadia High School band as they walk down the parade main street

Members of the Arcadia High School band as they walk down the parade main street

 

More from the MLK marching band from Georgia

More from the MLK marching band from Georgia

 

The Rose Parade theme float. "Echoes of Success"

The Rose Parade theme float. “Echoes of Success”

 

Awesome Gold Rush themed float

Awesome Gold Rush themed float

 

The United States Air Force Marching Band

The United States Air Force Marching Band

 

Not to be outdone, the US Marines very own Marching Band

The United State’s Marines Marching Band

 

Love themed float

Love themed float with the theme of “Together We Rise”

 

A beautiful set of horses and their riders coming down the main street

A beautiful set of horses and their riders coming down the main street

 

The lovely cheerleaders from USC amping up the crowd

The lovely cheerleaders from USC amping up the crowd

 

The Winner of the Theme Trophy as it comes down the main street

The Winner of the Theme Trophy as it comes down the main street

 

The final bit of police officers make their way down the main parade route

The final bit of police officers from Tehachapi make their way down the main parade route

 

It was the end of the parade and we all got the final wave-off

It was the end of the parade and we all got the final wave-off. Until next year!

 

Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete 

-Spektrum Magazine

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For more information on the Rose Parade and the Tournament of Roses check out their website at https://www.tournamentofroses.com/rose-parade

This article was prepared or accomplished by Daniel Navarrete in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spektrum Magazine, or its affiliates.

 

 


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