Rose Parade 2013: Hurling soft missiles is parade route tradition


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Someone had broken the rules of engagement. The egg yolk smeared on the pavement made that much clear.

‘It’s been a battle all night,’ said Aaron Alvarado, 19, of North Hills. ‘But eggs?’


‘First time I’ve seen that,’ said his father, Frank Alvarado. He sprinkled flour on the yolk and swept the paste-like mess into a yellow dustbin. ‘Someone could have been hurt.’

FULL COVERAGE: 2013 Rose Parade

Father and son have thrown their fair share of marshmallows and tortillas over the years. Police frown on it, but flinging squishy missiles into the windows of passing cars is a Pasadena tradition, Rose Bowl veterans say.

The crowds that camp along the Rose Parade route get restless as the night before the parade wears on. Tortillas start to fly, sometimes with a squirt of shaving cream.

‘They’re soft, they’re light, they’re pretty harmless,’ Aaron Alvarado said. ‘Then you just wait for the police to um, not be around.’

PHOTOS: Getting ready for the 124th Rose Parade

Early Tuesday morning, the gutters of Colorado Boulevard were littered with silly string, marshmallows and tortillas the size of CDs.

Sometimes, car passengers fight back. Samantha Merrit, 18, of Burbank found shaving cream in her ponytail. Marshmallows to the face can happen.

But the egg that narrowly missed his daughter’s face was too dangerous, Frank Alvarado said. It broke a major rule of Rose Bowl street battles: no harm.

The other rules?

‘No classic cars, no old cars, no motorcycles,’ said Lauren Colton, 19, of Pasadena, laughing. ‘Everything else is fair game.’

Colton and her family had a stockpile of tortillas under a fleece blanket near their roaring fire, barely contained in a portable pit. Around 11 p.m., her brother Eddie Colton, 18, started to throw food.

‘Probably seven head shots,’ he said.

One marshmallow flew toward the open window of an elderly woman’s car. As she rolled it up, the candy slipped through and hit her.

The trick, Eddie Colton said, is using a technique similar to throwing a Frisbee: a flick of the wrist, and a pointed index finger.


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-- Laura J. Nelson in Pasadena. Twitter: @laura_nelson