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FOR THE RECORDLos Angeles Times Friday January 4, 2002Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 A2 Desk1 inches; 33 wordsType of Material: Correction
Rose Parade float--A caption in Wednesday's Section A incorrectlyidentified the "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" Rose Parade float asa Veterans of Foreign Affairs entry. The float was presented by theVeterans of Foreign Wars.--- END OF CORRECTION ---
The Tournament of Roses wrapped itself in red carnations, white mums and blue statice Tuesday, kicking off the new year with a parade fit for the Fourth of July.
The 113th Rose Parade began with Grand Marshal Regis Philbin introducing a U.S. Marine Corps band and ended with a show of force: the West Point Marching Band, a Veterans of Foreign Wars float and an equestrian group from the U.S. Marshals Service. In between, Colorado Boulevard was a river of flags, worn by a prize-winning fisherman, a Swedish cowboy, Spanish horses, Lutherans, bungee jumpers and animated cats and dogs. The parade even had Richard Riordan campaigning for governor (on the float of a medical company) as if it were midsummer.
The patriotic demonstration was relatively peaceful. From 5 p.m. New Year's Eve to 11 a.m. Tuesday, there were 59 arrests along the 5 1/2-mile parade route, down from 78 last year. While broadcasters trumpeted the traditional crowd estimate of 1 million, police and veteran parade-goers said the crowd seemed slightly smaller this year.
Some blamed terrorism fears, which led to additional security that was obvious to fans at the beginning of the route. Others pointed out that football fans might be home resting for this year's Rose Bowl. Since it was designated the national championship game for the first time this year, the bowl won't take place until Thursday.
Despite threatening skies, rain showers never came, confirming local suspicion that Pasadena is Mother Nature's favorite child.
"This is the quintessential American experience," said 48-year-old Lucy Solis, vacationing here from Costa Rica.
As such, much of the parade--from equestrians' uniforms to float colors to band music sheets--had been tweaked after Sept. 11 to match the times. Fans and float riders were as likely to chant "USA!" as "Happy New Year!"
Red, white and blue ribbons hung from horses' bridles. A high school band from Blue Springs, Mo., played "Appalachian Spring"; the one from Kennewick, Wash., preferred "America the Beautiful." FA/18s and a B-2 "Spirit" Stealth bomber made noisy flyovers.
One float, sponsored by Boeing, was redesigned to include an American eagle coming out of a red, white, and blue box. Even the piles of cotton candy were red, white and blue.
"I was here early," said Rickie Crayton of Los Angeles, who was trying to unload plastic bags of patriotic T-shirts and small American flags for $5 each. "I thought that with all this patriotism, at least people would want them to look good for the camera."
Crayton, 26, was disappointed with early sales but held out hope that his "I (Heart) FDNY" and "Operation Enduring Freedom" T-shirts would sell at Thursday's big game.
New York State of Mind Dominates Parade Route
Some parade fans said they came in hopes of finding a New Year's respite from talk of Sept. 11. But the Tournament of Roses made it clear that the tragedy of 2001 will shadow 2002.
Representatives of the Marine Corps, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the New York City police and fire departments rode on a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power float. Frank Scott Bunnell High School from Stratford, Conn., played "New York, New York." The St. Augustine High School Marching Hundred, from New Orleans, did a somber turn with "Stand By Me." And the band from the Los Angeles Unified School District performed "On Broadway."
Tragedy hung over other performers in various ways. It did not escape parade-goers' mention that the American Society of Civil Engineers float was dominated by miniature skyscrapers and bridges that have been identified as possible terrorist targets. And some of the day's biggest cheers were for the band from Colorado's Columbine High School, the site of the deadliest school shooting rampage in American history less than three years ago.
In a bow to fears, security was tightened around the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove, from which TV stations broadcast the parade. Airspace was restricted. But farther east on the route, 11-year-old Mark and 8-year-old Max Lomeli, loquacious brothers from Fresno, covered cars with tortillas smothered in shaving cream--without attracting law enforcement scrutiny.
"I was born that way," said Mark, explaining his mischief.
Concerns about terrorism led some to have second thoughts about attending. Riverside's Sylvia Rodriguez, 44, was planning to stay home this year until her husband, Jesus, threatened to go without her. Ron Kidd and his wife, who live in Nashville but have been coming to the Rose Parade since 1977, says they still regret skipping the 2000 parade because of Y2K fears.
"I'm less concerned about security this year," said Barbara Mirales of Sierra Madre, who spent three nights sleeping in a RV along the route. "It seems that people were a lot calmer this year too."
Whether it was fear or the two-day wait for football, some parade-goers could be forgiven for finding Tuesday a bit disorienting. Honda's float was titled "Born in the USA." The oil giant British Petroleum created a float showing a lush, unspoiled, prehistoric jungle. Instead of basking in Pasadena's New Year's Day weather (highs reached the mid-60s), the band and cheerleaders from this year's East Coast Rose Bowl team complained about the cold.
They are from the University of Miami.
Even Better Than Lawrence Welk Museum
A visitor from colder climes, Irva Latimer, an 87-year-old resident of Des Moines, wasn't complaining. She decided she liked the Rose Parade even more than the Lawrence Welk museum in Escondido.
Rain Bird Sprinkler Manufacturing won the Sweepstakes Trophy as most beautiful entry for a float featuring Bengal tigers. Florist's Transworld Delivery earned the President's Trophy for most effective floral presentation for an Alice in Wonderland entry. The city of Long Beach earned the trophy for most beautiful float entered by a noncommercial sponsor.
Two floats, including one carrying the Rose queen and her court, broke down. The most spectacular failure was by "Guiding Good Times," the first-time entry of Guide Dogs for the Blind.
After its brakes locked, the float was pulled out of the parade. Michael Hingson sat patiently as his guide dog, Roselle, licked at rice and seeds on the float and white-suited organizers waved bands and horses by. Roselle, a yellow Labrador, had led her 51-year-old owner, who is blind, down from the 78th floor of the World Trade Center to safety on Sept. 11.
Tuesday, they couldn't get down Colorado Boulevard.
"Well, at least we were in it," Hingson said.
Nearby, Francisco Gonzalez, 30, of Pasadena didn't notice the breakdown. He was too busy making change for tourists who wanted to buy American flags and stars-and-stripes hats.
"America is what sells," he said.
Times staff writers Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, Anica E. Butler, Cara Mia DiMassa, Elena Gaona, Gariot Louima, Andrea Perera and Garrett Therolf contributed to the reporting of this story.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times