Who doesn't love a parade. When I lived in Mountain View in the Bay Area, on most holidays you could count on a parade happening down the main street of town. We walked the two blocks to find a prime spot on the street to view the local pride parading by. We loved it!
In pursuit of that love, we made arrangements in late November to go to the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Despite growing up in SoCal I had never seen the parade in person—even though my alma mater, Cal Poly, is a star entry every year. Yes... I felt a bit like a kid in anticipation of seeing the "Grand Daddy" of parades.
Arriving in town on New Year's Eve, we headed for the decorating tents to view the floats getting their final application of flowers. To my delight we first saw the Cal Poly universities float. I felt a sense of pride knowing that it is designed and built by students of the two universities—Pomona (my alma mater) and San Luis Obispo (our son's alma mater). Each college builds half of the float, joining the two parts late in the year. Cal Poly's float oftentimes garners an award and this year received the Bob Hope Humor Trophy. The majority of floats in the parade are built by professional float building companies. Hats off to the Cal Poly geeks!
Under a crystal-clear blue sky and crisp cold air the Rose Parade began promptly at 8 AM with HD cameras feeding pictures of stunning floats and the chatter of commentary by TV hosts. We sat in bleachers down the street a short distance from the TV cameras. It was fairly quiet except for the occasional "oooohhs," "awwwws" and applause. Sitting amongst a sea of Ohio State fans, it got loud when their team float and band went by—we were forced to our feet to see them pass.
If you didn't see the parade you missed the big hit—Natural Balance Pet Foods float Hot Doggin' — Going for the Gold. Besides being the longest float (114 feet) ever seen in the parade, it featured Tillman the skateboarding dog and his four best friends showing off their skills at snowboarding. If you missed it, take a look at the video I made.