Friday, January 2, 2009

Rose Parade 2009

An absolutely beautiful day for the parade. The kind of day when at 8 in the morning you can't decide to whether or not you'll need a sweater. This is Sierra Madre Blvd., kind of a lonely place early parade day morning and it was fun to walk right down the middle of a usually busy street. But, this is where the floats go for post parade and in a few hours, this area will be overflowing with people looking at the floats.

On our way down Sierra Madre Blvd. we said hello to friends already in place for the parade or wandering around the street. Some school friends had slept overnight. We got hit up by scouts for Krispe Kremes. Then, further down Sierra Madre Blvd. we met up with another Pasadena family to watch the parade. Most of the people around us were locals (or relatives from out of town) -- people who year after year watch the parade at the same spot. One of the many Trojan fans was next to us. Oh, nice mountain views too.

I decided to try my hand at photography this year. I'm trying to improve my photography skills. So far, the pictures I see and the ones my camera takes seem to be two different things. This is one of the few pictures I took that I really liked. That's Alhambra's float by the way.

The Penn State band was fantastic. Five miles into the parade and the band still had great energy dancing their way to the finish line. Their baton twirler was juggling batons! Here she is waiting for one of her batons to come back to earth. Penn State got huge cheers from the crowd around us. And their band was so good I almost switched my football team allegiance from the Trojans to the Nittany Lions.

It's the Emerald City! But, the poppies, the poppies will put our heroes to sleep. Good thing Glenda the Good Witch is there to save the day.

Sometimes you can get flowers when the parade and post parade are done and the floats are bing towed back to storage. But, I'd never seen anyone run out during the parade and pick a flower off of a passing float. Actually this was for a good cause. The flower filcher presented the rose to a lady celebrating her 50th birthday on the curb watching the Rose Parade.

It's an international parade. But, it's also a local parade. Actually that's one of the things I really like about Pasadena. In many ways, we're a world class and world renowned city. But, in significant ways we're also a small town. This well decorated girl scout just marched five miles in the world's best known parade and was plainly happy to hear a chorus of friends calling her name from Sierra Madre Blvd.

Wile E. Coyote is after the Roadrunner on Sierra Madre Blvd. Looks like he's still using those ACME rockets. Some coyotes never learn.

The good news is that, out of hundreds of beautiful contestants, we've selected you for the honor of riding in the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade where you'll be seen on television by millions of people world wide.

The bad news is, well, you've got to wear this hair....

Gotta like band directors who engage the crowd. This guy from the LAUSD All District Band was shaking hands, waving and clapping.

Notice the helicopter flying just out of the surfer's grasp. I waited for this shot.
My favorite float by the way. Surf City USA -- the real one in the OC.

La Canada's entry. I like the fact that many of our surrounding cities have floats in the parade.

What float will Raul and his parrot ride on this year? Answer: China Airlines. Spectacular float. This guy knows how to do it.

The Liberty High Grenadiers were really good. But, the hats.... Even the band director had one. Leadership by example.

Great float from Alaska. These guys did a hunting dance and charged the crowd. Lots of fun.

It's the Age of Aquarius. Lots of activity here: dancing, drums, juggling, wild colors. I'll pass on the Jumbo Jack. But a wonderful float.

Donate Life. Huge cheers from the crowd. And with good reason.

The City of Hope and Duarte float. We like City of Hope. It's an inspiring and world class place much befitting its name. My mom is there now, but soon to be released. She was watching the parade on TV when I called her from the parade route.

Here are the good folks from the Valley Hunt Club, which club founded the Tournament of Roses 120 years ago. With the Hunt Club's history, the horse driven carriage and all, I thought I'd try some fancy photo work and go black and white. Great idea; terrible photo. Also, while I was thinking 1890s, I didn't notice the tow truck in the background. Oh, well.

Cal Poly makes fun floats. Like them every year.

Roseville float from NoCal. The engineer has both arms and half his body out of the window. This was a fun float with lots of energetic riders.

The Sierra Madre float broke down and was towed to the finish. The guy in the white jumpsuit is not part of the Bollywood thing, but just a really dejected float driver.

Burbank. Great job. I thought the drive-in with the mountains in the backdrop was a nice touch.

One of the directors of the Band of America. Five miles in and still engaging the crowd.

You know times are tough when realtors can't afford shoes.

Another wonderful parade is over. Time to load up the chairs, wander on back home and wait for the football game.


Cafe Observer said...

MC, thanks 4 your generous compliments on de Rose Parade pics at my Cafe Pasadena website. The secret location is basically at Lake & Colorado (I wanted 2 say in the Stealth bomber) straddling on top of our office bldg - West of Allen!

I had a few other USC friends up on top of the roof with me. It wasn't the perfect spot. The floats kinda felt like they were sneaking up on me fast. So, I often felt rushed to get my camera set to get good shots. The sun/shade angles wasn't a help either

But, you had some nice shots here. What shutterbug tricks did you use to make the parade participants look so refreshed/happy at the end of about a 5 mile route!

I'll try to put a few others on my site. Right now I'm still trying to recover from this week.
Happy/Wealthy New Yrs!

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks CO. I figured you were watching the parade from an office building (either that or a helicopter). I always thought it would be cool to office on Colorado and get to watch the parade (and have great parking, hot coffee, ect.) on New Years Day.

I don't think there are any office buildings on the parade route East of Allen. Certainly some retail spaces. What we do have over here though is the grassy median on Sierra Madre Blvd.

Most of the parade entrants were still fresh (or acting like it) by the time they reached us on Sierra Madre. Some, like the poor driver on the City of Sierra Madre float, just wanted the whole thing to be over.

Cafe Observer said...

Yes, parking was very convenient. And, we woke up to fresh coffee & pastries at my regular hangout, EuroPane Cafe.

Sierra Madre's float usually uses their float for fund raising right after the parade viewing is done. They will tow it to Baldwin/Sierra Madre and sell some of the flowers for a buck or two.

Petrea said...

Michael, I love your post. I hope you don't mind if I link to it in my post tomorrow. It gives a good local citizen's view of the parade.

Kathy of La Canada Flintridge was somewhere near Lake and Colorado too, and got a few good shots.

Petrea said...

By the way, to delete a photo, think of it as a word and cut it. You should be able to go into the editing window, place the cursor just after the photo, then hit your backspace. Or you might be able to select and delete it as well.

Thanks for your kind words and support on my blog. You're always a most welcome visitor.

Cafe Observer said...

P, I know xactly where Kathy was at Lake/Colorado. She says they were on the 9th floor, so they were much higher up than we were but I could see her gang.

I think I took a pic of them!

(P, I'm a citizen too-hohoho!)

Petrea said...

Yes, I could tell from her pics where she was. But I couldn't tell from yours, C.O.!

Sarah Jane said...

I like your fancy Hunt Club picture.

Lady G said...

If you like those photos, you should see the ones they have listed at All the shots are really clean and easy to see. I like it.