Friday, January 1, 2016

Rose Parade 2016!

So this year was the year I finally made it to the Rose Parade! As I previously mentioned, I've worked in Pasadena for a while and never gone, so this year I decided to stop putting it off for another year and I'm so glad I did! Granted, working in a building on Colorado made the whole event MUCH easier... I had a place to watch from a few floors up, a warm breakfast waiting, a real bathroom, a place to park and we didn't leave my place until 6:30am this morning... But regardless, it was much more fun to see in person than on tv. For me, the Rose Parade was one of those things that would mostly end up on repeat in the tv in the background and I'd occasionally glance at it, and of course, I've experienced all of the pre/post event prep in Pasadena, but never the event itself!

Pre & post-parade coverage on tv is somewhat boring and predictable compared to the real life event: people just wandering & biking on Colorado (like Pasadena CicLAvia!), the street vendors, lots of mini-relgious parades before and after, police with giant automatic weapons posing for photos with people, the groups of police doing all sorts of motorcycle formations and tricks up and down Colorado, the post-parade Bernie Sanders contributions (including a couple floats!) and the mob of security related vehicles and tow trucks following up the back of the parade. During the event itself there are imperfect views (many floats are built with main details facing to the right because that's facing the direction of the sun during the parade and the film crews), odd pauses in the middle, tired people (we were probably about half way along the route.. film crews are normally at the beginning), horse poop crews, community reactions and maybe a few mentions of Donald Trump in a skyward direction.

The theme this year was "Find your Adventure", so many of the floats features various outdoor scenes and animals, which I enjoyed. Some were a little.... weird like the California Milk product float, the Disney which just seemed like a mishmash of "hey people love Frozen and we just released Star Wars, so yeah!" and the "Bachelor" float (next to floats from the nearby cities of Glendale, Burbank and South Pasadena.) My favorite parts were generally the birds that came in all sorts of forms from a small accent telling the story of a place or the main part of the float and of course, taking photos. Give me a camera and let me go and I'll generally be pretty happy.....

It looks like I took a ton of photos with just my digital forms, so I'll be posting a second part hopefully in the next couple of days with film to come later!

pre-parade vending

this made me wish I had left my bike at work yesterday so I could ride
around pre-parade while Colorado was closed!

The blue marks painted on the street are present year-around for this one day - people must stay behind the blue line during the Rose Parade

these guys kept going up and down the street, sometimes splitting off in both directions and making small circles

part of the opening show....

American Honda "Nature's Hope". Sadly one of the first of many that somewhat focused on facing south and somewhat neglected the north side of the float. What I could see was pretty though...

United States Marine Corps

United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band... they do make some nice lines while marching...

South Pasadena float... their floats can be seen "in progress" in the months leading to the Rose Parade while riding the Gold Line.....

Spirit of the West Riders

Poop crew grabbing someone to shoot a photo! There was a group of people behind every entry that included
horses. When a crew stopped to clean, the crowed cheered....

you may have grown up in Texas if you recognize and can sing along to "Yellow Rose of Texas" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas".....

Allen Eagle Escadrille - this marching band lived up to the "Everything is bigger in Texas" saying.... this isn't even the entire group

Western Asset Management Company - another one of those floats that looked beautiful and had tons of animals (including multiple birds), but nearly everything was oriented to face south. Boo on ignoring 50% of the people on the parade route!

PBS Downton Abbey float

National Park Services! Yay! The National Parks are so awesome and they brought along mules! The park services still use mules to reach remote parts of the undeveloped parks since they are the most efficient means of getting around!

Wyoming All State Marching Band

Ken Burns as the Grand Marshal

South Dakota Tourism! Although Mt. Rushmore was backwards from my side, it's still pretty awesome that they made a mirror image on the backside to let both sides of the street! Thanks float designers!

PCC Herald Trumpets

Albany State University Marching Rams

Kaiser Pemanente Pretty, but South Facing Float. Boo.

People watching the New Buffalo Soldiers

WVU Medicine's Childrens... boo South facing pretty bird-ness, season switching float....

Kiehl's adventure filled float....

Toho High School from Japan!

City of Downey's Everglades float... pretty, bird filled and facing South? Why of course!!! 

Union Bank and American Heart Association

earth visitor from Plymouth-Canton Educational Park Marching Band

float from Donate Life

from the city of Burbank


  1. I love the photo of the Earth visitor. It is my daughter!!! Anyway I can get a copy?