'91-92 The Year In Review. Los Angeles County: A Look Back : PARADES

Parade organizers in 1991 would have been better off booking political consultants rather than marching bands to kick off their events.

Ethnic groups, anti-war activists, feminists, even a fasting Catholic priest, did their best to rain on the plans for two major parades.

Anti-war activists, offended that the show of military weaponry at Hollywood's glitzy "Welcome Home Desert Storm Parade" glorified warfare, sought permission to join the parade with their own demonstration. Father Chris Ponet condemned the show of tanks and jet fighters by fasting for about two weeks.

Angry veterans, the intended stars of the event, torpedoed the counterdemonstration and activists were barred from entering the parade. After all the fuss over weaponry, the crowd-roaring main attraction of the day was a life-size model of a Patriot missile.

Fireworks, not flowers, usurped planning for the venerable Rose Parade when organizers were accused of insensitivity, sexism and elitism.

American Indian groups blasted Tournament of Roses officials for selecting as grand marshal a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, who they said symbolized the ruthless 16-Century Spanish conquest. Women's groups lashed out against the all-male committee that selects the Rose Queen.

To cap it off, Pasadena council members said that they did not want any sheriff's deputies who are "white supremacists" or "neo-Nazis" patrolling the parade route, a reference to a finding by a U.S. district judge that such a group allegedly operates in one station.

Sheriff Sherman Block threatened to cancel the contract altogether. The Pasadena council apologized. The parade is scheduled to step onto Colorado Boulevard on Wednesday with plenty of deputies and an American Indian as co-grand marshal.

The one parade that was rife with offensive acts--roller skaters re-enacting the police beating of Rodney King, an inflatable doll dance team and a walking goo-spewing sewage plant--went on without a hitch. Doo Dah, Doo Dah.

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