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Pasadena? Take the Bus and Your Mittens

Times Staff Writer

If you’re heading to one of the coldest Rose Parades in the event’s 99-year history, take mittens and take heart from the Rose Queen and princesses, who will ride out the two-hour chiller in formal gowns and white gloves.

According to weather forecasters, the coldest Jan. 1 in Pasadena was in 1884--four years before the Rose Parade began--when temperatures dipped overnight to 35 degrees.

On Friday, forecasters expect high clouds and low temperatures at or below 40 degrees, warming in the late afternoon to a nippy 58 degrees.

The parade, which begins at 8:20 a.m. and is led this year by Grand Marshal Gregory Peck, “is going to be just freezing, but absolutely beautiful,” said Kristin Mabry, spokeswoman for the Tournament of Roses Assn.

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“The Queen and her court will probably be wearing thermals underneath everything,” said another association spokeswoman.

The parade route along Colorado Boulevard, normally crowded by now with chaise lounges, hard-core parade fans and coolers, was still nearly empty Wednesday.

Spotty groups of seasoned parade-goers, who traditionally clamor for space on the shady southern side of Colorado, are clustering this year on the sunny north side of the street to get a glimpse of the 60 floats, decorated with the theme “Thanks to Communications.”

“Start to the parade early in the morning, and bring very warm clothes you can peel off in case it does warm up,” said Traci Atwood Sayer, of the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Sayer said callers to her bureau this week “are all asking the same questions,” and she provided answers to the top five:

- Yes, the Rose Parade is free.

- However, reserved seats in grandstands cost about $30. Resellers who bought blocks of tickets are asking $40, and one scalper was reportedly trying for $80.

- The best viewing area--but also the most difficult in which to find a spot because of its popularity--is the intersection of Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards. There, the 22 bands, 29 equestrian groups and dozens of animated floats will all show off for the judges.

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- The earliest that parade-goers are legally allowed to begin camping out on Pasadena’s sidewalks is noon today.

- Recreational vehicle parking is available at private lots within walking distance of the parade for $30 to $40, from tonight through New Year’s Day. Parking lots along the parade route, offering viewing from one’s own RV, cost $150 to $200 for the night. Cars will be charged $10 overnight at most lots, with various lower prices for cars arriving Friday.

Sayer said anyone with any questions about the parade can call a special hot line at (818) 795-9311, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, and from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Parade and city officials warned over-exuberant fans that ladders, scaffolding “and the like” are not allowed on the parade route, and one person cannot reserve five or 10 feet of choice curbside for late-coming companions.

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“You can’t go out with 20 chairs unless you have 20 bodies to occupy them,” said city spokeswoman Ronnie Nanning.

However, an entire block, dubbed Wheelchair Haven, has been reserved for more than 150 handicapped people on Sierra Madre Boulevard between Del Vina and Villa streets, complete with special restrooms.

Ed Flynn, coordinator of the wheelchair area, said anyone in a wheelchair is welcome, and may be accompanied by one--and only one--helper.

“The parade will come within six feet of them and they’ll be sitting right on the curb, so tell them do come,” Flynn said.

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The RTD, increasingly popular as a way to get to the parade and avoid traffic hassles, said it is expecting a big day despite the cold snap, and will add more than 150 buses to the 2,000 serving the city on Friday. Many buses will provide handicapped service.

Steve Parry, manager of bus planning for RTD, said buses “carried tens of thousands of people” to the parade last year, many of whom found it far quicker than driving.

He said parade-bound buses will run every 10 to 30 minutes from suburban areas and from downtown, beginning before dawn and returning home right after the parade.

“My advice is take the bus,” he said. “We begin in the wee hours from downtown, from Hollywood, San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, the mid-cities, and the San Gabriel Valley and many points between. We will drop you off within two blocks of the route--we get that close by magic--so join us.”

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The most popular bus service is from downtown, where Parry said thousands of out-of-towners, especially Spartan football fans from Michigan, are expected to board dozens of buses that begin running at 3 a.m. on Friday along Olive Street.

Post-parade viewing of the floats begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Visitors can avoid the traffic by taking shuttle buses from Pasadena City College two miles away.

Parry said use of public buses to the post-parade area at Victory Park shot up 1,500% last year when the shuttle was introduced, because motorists can park easily at the college and “never wait more than 10 minutes” for a bus.

Sayer said that whether visitors choose to drive or take the bus, everybody should expect traffic jams and delays in getting wherever they want to go Friday throughout most of Pasadena.

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“Whether it’s the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl, people who want to get in there and out of there very fast should understand that just isn’t going to happen,” Sayer said.

“Our advice is relax and don’t get hyper about it. Just have fun.”

ROSE PARADE BUS SERVICE

Special RTD service to the Rose Parade will run as follows:

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- Lines 180 and 181 from Hollywood, Los Feliz, Atwater, Glendale and Eagle Rock will begin expanded service about 4 a.m., with runs every few minutes after 5:30 a.m.

- Line 260 from Long Beach up Atlantic Boulevard will begin service at 4:49 a.m., with runs every 20 minutes or less, until 7:23 a.m.

- Line 267 will run from the El Monte station in the San Gabriel Valley every half-hour from 5:30 a.m., through Temple City and Arcadia. The Foothill Boulevard route, Line 187 from Pomona, will begin service every 10 minutes at 6 a.m.

- Line 420 will begin at the Panorama Shopping Center in the San Fernando Valley, running along Van Nuys Boulevard toward downtown, then heading onto the Pasadena Freeway for an express leg of the trip. Runs every 20 to 30 minutes begin at 5 a.m.

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- Line 401 from downtown will leave Venice Boulevard and Olive Street in downtown Los Angeles every 40 minutes with express service on the Pasadena Freeway.

- Line 483 from downtown will run along Olive Street, including City Hall, through Alhambra and South Pasadena. It begins service at 2:55 a.m., running continuously after 5 a.m.

- Line 485 from downtown, which takes viewers to the midway point of the parade route on Lake Street in Pasadena, begins service from Olive Street at 6:05 a.m.

- Late risers can still see the parade by taking Line 487 from downtown beginning at 7:15 a.m. It will drop riders off near the end of the parade route, where the floats will not arrive until about 10 a.m.

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The RTD urged bus riders to bring plenty of change, because regular fares will not apply to some routes:

- Lines 420 and 424 from the San Fernando Valley will cost $3 each way, with passes not accepted.

- Lines 483 and 485 from downtown will cost $1.20 each way, and passes will be accepted.

- Line 401 express from downtown will cost $1.55 each way.

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For the big game later in the day, a special Line 483 bus, labeled Rose Bowl, will also be running from numerous points along Olive Street downtown, with direct service to the Rose Bowl for $3.50 each way, beginning at 9:49 a.m. and running every four to eight minutes until 12:43 p.m.

ROSE PARADE ORDER OF MARCH

1. American Guild of English Handbell Ringers

2. “A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words,” Eastman Kodak Co.

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3. Long Beach Mounted Police

4. “Tell Me a Story,” City of Torrance

5. U.S. Marine Corps Band

6. “Greetings Earthlings,” American Honda Co.

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7. Gregory Peck, Grand Marshal

8. “Spring Training,” Security Pacific National Bank

9. Choctawhatchee High School Band

10. “Good Morning,” International House of Pancakes

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11. American Bashkir Curley

12. “Pep Rally . . . Teamwork is the Message,” Transamerica

13. “Presenting the Royal Court,” Pasadena Tournament of Roses

14. Pasadena Area Community College District Band

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15. “Air Mail,” South Pasadena

16. Arabian Group

17. “Sophisticated Rhythm,” First Interstate

18. Western Group

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19. “Just Say Please,” Portland Rose Festival

20. Harriman L. Cronk, Tournament President

21. Pella Community High School Band

22. “School Days,” Kiwanis

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23. “Follow the Leader,” Baskin-Robbins

24. Montie Montana

25. “Rhythm of the Caribbean,” Puerto Rico

26. John C. Crowley, Mayor of Pasadena

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27. “It’s a Small World,” Bank of America

28. Pacific-10 Conference

29. USC Band

30. “Backyard Engineer,” Dr. Pepper

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31. Al Malaikah Temple Silver Mounted

32. “Let Us Entertain You,” Elks

33. White Horse Group

34. “Voices of Freedom,” Rand McNally

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35. Valley Hunt Club

36. “Sent With Love,” F.T.D.

37. Oak Grove High School Band

38. “Mysterious Alien Creatures,” Golden State Foods

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39. George Putnam

40. “Sharing the Joy of the Holidays,” City of San Bernardino

41. Big Ten Conference

42. Michigan State Band

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43. “Fantasy on Film,” City of Culver City

44. Medieval Times

45. “Cultural Exchange,” Malaysia

46. Stuart Hamblen Family

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47. “Party Time,” Lawry’s

48. Jefferson City Senior High School Band

49. “Say It With Roses,” Farmers Insurance

50. Fetterman & Tanner

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51. “Hello, Hello!” Downey Rose Float Assn.

52. Overland High School Band

53. “Poseidon,” City of Carson

54. Santa Barbara County Silver Mounted Sheriffs

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55. “The Ten Commandments,” Lutheran Laymen’s League

56. Blackstone-Millville High School Band

57. “It’s For You!” Fansteel

58. Indian Group

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59. “Keeping In Touch,” Sierra Madre

60. Toms River (N.J.) High School South Band

61. “Full Speed Ahead,” City of Long Beach

62. Edward Bohlin Group

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63. “Kabuki: Communication Through the Arts,” Unocal

64. “A Charles Dickens’ Christmas,” City of St. Louis

65. O’Fallon Township High School Band

66. “Building for the Future,” Huntington Sheraton

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67. B Troop, Ft. Huachuca

68. “Look Whoo’s Talking,” Rotary

69. All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir

70. “Call 911,” Alhambra

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71. International Andalusian Group

72. “So Far and Yet So Near,” China Airlines

73. American Morgan Horse Assn.

74. “The Language of Laughter,” Pacific Financial

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75. International Side-Saddle Assn.

76. “Communication Through the Arts,” City of Santa Ana

77. Northrop High School Band

78. “Scary Tales,” ARCO

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79. American Saddlebreds

80. “You Can Always Call Home,” GTE

81. Martinez Family

82. “Proclaiming a New World,” Odd Fellows & Rebekahs

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83. Lassiter High School Band

84. “British Columbia Is Calling,” British Columbia

85. National Exchange Club

86. “Be Mine,” BC & T

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87. Castle High School Band

88. “Images of Hope,” American Red Cross

89. Galloping Gossips

90. “We’ve Got the Climate for Business,” City of Los Angeles

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91. Tulare Union High School Band

92. “Singapore, Where the World Comes Together,” Singapore Airlines

93. Los Angeles Equestrian Center

94. “To Your Health,” Duarte/City of Hope

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95. The Salvation Army Band

96. “Gift of Gab,” Carnation

97. American Miniature Horse Unit

98. “Message in a Bottle,” Oceanside

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99. Vallejo High School Band

100. “The Constitution: 200 Years of Communicating Liberty,” California Bicentennial Foundation

101. Freddie Lee Mill Arabian Group

102. “Smiling Faces Going Places,” Good Sam Club

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103. Mt. Carmel High School Band

104. “The World Is Not Flat,” CasaBlanca Fan

105. Palos Verdes Peninsula Peruvian Paso Club

106. Lovely Hula Hams, La Canada Flintridge

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107. “Welcome to the Games of the XXIV Olympiad,” Korean-American Community

108. American Donkey & Mule

109. “Imagine That,” Cal Poly

110. Miller/Werner Arabian Group

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111. “Messenger of Peace,” Glendale

112. Los Angeles All-City Band

113. “Beam Me Up, Scotty,” Arcadia Tournament of Roses

114. “The First Hello,” Burbank Tournament of Roses

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