Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 Rose Parade From Sierra Madre Blvd.

Great day for a parade. It must have been about 70 degrees and sunny as we left the house and walked down to Sierra Madre Blvd. We staked out space on the grassy median next to folks who had camped all night and others who walked in from the surrounding neighborhoods. My sister and her family joined us which made it an extra special day.

I like the mountain vistas on bright mornings like today and I enjoy walking the street before the parade starts. There are crowds of people -- some who arrive in the morning and many who have camped overnight. There's a buzz of anticipation. Plus, it's just fun to walk in the middle of a street I drive to work on every day.

In past years this is when I'd call my mom. I'd walk down the street talking to her on the cell phone and sharing with her the sights and sounds as she watched the parade on TV. Like all the holidays, New Year's morning is another reminder of her passing and I missed her as I took this year's walk.

There were two bands that were off the charts. This was one. The band members, including the two banner carriers, are blind. Members of the band are assisted by sighted persons who helped guide them along the way.

I don't claim to be an authority on bands, but in over 20 years living in Pasadena, I've watched a lot of Rose Parades and seen a lot of bands. To me, a good band should engage and move the crowd. This band hit the mark.
Therefore, this band shares honors as this year's East of Allen Best Rose Parade Band.

The other East of Allen Best Band honoree is the Ohio University Marching Band from Athens, Ohio.

The Rose Parade route is five miles long. When you're standing where we were (toward the end of the parade route) you see some bands that are pretty wrung out. So, when a band kicks it into high gear and starts dipping and dancing, the crowd goes wild.

I've never picked up a tuba. But, I can imagine how hard it is to carry one around for five miles, while playing music and dipping and kicking along the way. These folks were amazing and very entertaining. Very deserving co-winners of Best Band.

East of Allen Best Float winner was easy. Just can't beat dogs snowboarding downhill on a float.

Runner up Best Float is this one -- Donate Life's float "New Life Rises." The float title and the faces on the float tell the story.

The Donate Life float was built in the same place as the Boy Scout float. When we went to the Rosemont Pavilion to help on the scout float, there were maybe a dozen groups helping out on different floats. The Donate Life group was in a different class than anyone else. It seemed they had more volunteers than anyone, had these very cool Donate Life t-shirts, their tent was always buzzing with activity and all looked to be having great fun.

Enough with the awards. On with the regular parade stuff.

Rose Bowl mascots this year were a bit different. I guess I'm used to seeing mascots that symbolize power or strength. I know Ohio State is a venerable institution with a storied football team, but to have a mascot with a nut for a head is .... Well, I don't quite get it. Maybe it's a Midwest kind of thing.

On the other hand, I get that Oregon is rainy and maybe a bit quirky, so the duck makes sense. Still not symbol of power like a Trojan or Bruin, but it makes some sense.

There was a lot of down time in this year's parade. That gave time for bands of people to run back and forth across the street spraying silly string into the crowd. Looks like this guy got a silly string hair do.

From Brazil. These folks got the crowd going.

One of the most recognizable faces to American children, Ronald McDonald had some sylish shades and was showing off his "eye" phone.

El Dorado H.S. Band from Placentia. My nephew, who was with us this morning, is a student there, so I've got to give them some space. Actually, the band was very very good. During parade down time, two of the band members -- one with a saxophone and another with a trumpet -- stepped out of formation to treat the crowd to solos. Very impressive stuff. In an ordinary year, this band would vie for East of Allen Best Band honors.

Ahh, the long awaited Boy Scout float. Nice job on the yellow roses in the front. I last saw this float on Tuesday when my son and I helped on the decoration. At that time, you could definitely see where the float was going. But, the finishing touches have taken the float to new levels.

Shirt sleeve weather on January 1, floats, scouts, crowds on Sierra Madre Blvd. and mountain views. Where else but Pasadena?


Cafe Pasadena said...

Good stuff!
I think you must've been in the same location as 2009.

I only covered day 1 of the parade, on Thurs. Skipped this Friday part to stay up & sleep late.

Kim Thomas said...

Never been to your blog before but you must have been seated RIGHT behind us. We live on Sierra Madre Blvd and are at this same location every year. Great shots.

Michael Coppess said...

Thanks CP and Kim: Last year was our first in this spot on Sierra Madre Blvd. and we liked it so much we returned this year. Kim, we were behind a friendly bearded guy who camped overnight and a lady with an Ohio State sign.

Petrea said...

Fantastic post, Michael! I love your shots and commentary. Thanks so much.

altadenahiker said...

Good photos, good choices. I missed the whole thing, so this was a top notch recap.