Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rose Parade Countdown in Pasadena

love to watch the Rose Parade on New Year's day.
We on the West Coast have the option of "ringing in the New Year"
along with New York City, with their dropping of the ball in Times Square
(3 hours ahead of us), then heading to bed early so that we can
rise early to prepare a scrumptious breakfast for the Rose Parade.
The Rose Parade is held in Pasadena, here in Southern California.
It began in 1890 with flower-covered carriages!
The parade route heads primarily down Colorado Blvd.
for 5 1/2 miles heading east from Orange Grove Blvd.
to Sierra Madre Blvd. It takes about 2 hours to pass by.
What I find fascinating is that at least a month before,
Pasadena begins this facelift of risers popping up on
Colorado Blvd. where ever seating can be had (and sold!)
Take the beautiful Methodist Church above.
Or how about in front of the Elks Lodge?
I'm telling you -- just about everywhere.
Even the outdoor mall... Paseo Colorado!
The actual Tournament of Roses was formed in 1895.
The Tournament House is the official headquarters of the
Tournament of Roses Association whose staff and 935 volunteers
work year round to organize the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
This elegant Italian Renaissance-style mansion was built in 1906
and was presented to the City of Pasadena in 1958 by its then
owners - The William Wrigley Family (yes, as in chewing gum!) -
for the exclusive use by the Tournament.
The Rose Queen and Royal Court get ready here which prompts
some of us to give the "queenly wave" whenever we drive by.
In front of the Tournament House, on South Orange Grove Blvd.,
and its many side streets, is where
the staging of the floats and parade begins.
It heads north on South Orange Grove Blvd...
where risers begin to appear.
It comes to the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd.
This is where the main Grandstand, television and media stations
are set up.  It is also the tricky 105-degree right turn at the
beginning of the parade which causes much angst among
marching bands and necessitating the floats to be
designed to make such a turn.

The theme for this year's 2013 Rose Parade is "Oh, the Places You'll Go"
with the Grand Marshall being Jane Goodall.
I hope to be watching it.  Will you?

~ Karen

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