Here are some of the most memorable floats and sights from the Rose Parade
After a hiatus last year attendees were excited to be getting back into the spirit of the Rose Parade in 2022.
Here’s a look at some of the most memorable floats and exciting moments from the parade route:
First-time attendees marvel over the energy of the Rose Parade
The blaring sirens and motorcade clearing the parade’s path quickly captured 2-year-old Brysen Davis’ attention early Saturday.
His head swiveled left and right — taking in all the sights — as he sat on his father’s shoulders for his first Rose Parade experience.
Brysen and his parents, Irving Davis and Breanna Carter, were visiting from Missouri for the holidays. It has been years since Carter attended the parade. The last time was when she was her son’s age.
“We just wanted to get out of the house,” Davis said.
It was also Mona Lisa Tovar’s first time at the Rose Parade. The 14-year-old brought her cat, Pepito, so he could also enjoy the festivities.
She drove into town with her parents from Lancaster around midnight to camp out and get good seats, but also to see the excitement of people ringing in the new year.
“They were throwing tortillas with marshmallows at cars,” she said.
Her mother, Jennifer Rentera, said Pepito was a “good cat,” and they didn’t want to leave him at home alone. Pepito snoozed in a plastic crate with food, water and blankets as Mona Lisa and her parents waited for the parade.
Watch: Parade kicks off with a stealth plane flying low over the route
Rose Parade is a nostalgic New Year tradition for many attendees
Valerie Brown, 62, of Loma Linda has lost track of how many times she’s been to the Rose Parade.
She’s brought various family members, kids and even gone by herself ever since she started attending 30 years ago. Watching the parade in person was one of her late father’s lifelong dreams, she said.
“We grew up in Indiana watching the Rose Bowl parade but we could never afford to go,” Brown said.
The marching band was her father’s favorite part. Band is a family affair for them: Brown played the flute, her sister played the clarinet, one brother played the saxophone and another played trumpet. Her father, who died in 2018, played the tuba.
After moving to California in 1986, Brown took the opportunity to attend the parade as much as possible. And one year, she was able to bring her father out for the festivities.
Though she was disappointed the parade was cancelled last year, she was glad to be back — this time with her sister, brother-in-law, her nephew and his wife. They arrived at 5:30 a.m. to smaller crowds than usual, though they’re not complaining. Donning “Happy New Year” headbands and bundled up in lawn chairs, they had a front-row seat right at the edge of Colorado Boulevard and Lake Avenue.
“Sometimes I’ve been here when it’s so crowded you can’t move,” Brown said. “So it is nice having less people. Made it easier to find a place on the line.”
She used to bring her kids and camp out in a motorhome overnight to watch people revel in the streets at midnight. This year, her son stayed home to take care of his 1-year-old and 3-year-old children.
“I’m just counting the years until I can start bringing them,” Brown said.
Michelle Van Slyke, senior vice president of marketing and sales for the UPS Store, said in an interview that preparations for the company’s float — which is called “Rise, Shine & Read!” and features a bespectacled, bright yellow rooster named Charlie reading to a group of chicks — has been going on for about a year.
In 2020, float planning was already underway when the Rose Parade pulled the plug on the event because of the pandemic. But the UPS Store, she said, “had our hands full” as an essential business that stayed open amid lockdowns.
The company’s float is enormous: 35 feet tall and 55 feet long. Van Slyke said it weighs about 24 tons, with 12 moving parts and 130,000 flowers.
“If you’re going to do it, do it in a way that’s going to be fun and magical,” she said. “We all know we’re in the life’s-too-short category these days, and we want to bring some brightness after everything we’ve been through these last two years.”
Van Slyke grew up in San Bernardino and came to the Rose Parade year after year with her grandfather, a construction worker who came annually, even if he was by himself. They would spend the night along the parade route with chorizo and egg burritos and hot chocolate in thermoses.
“My grandfather would just be ecstatic if he knew I was involved in putting a float together,” she said.
Rose Parade returns with much smaller crowds than past years
The Rose Parade, which drew enormous fanfare from across the country before the pandemic, has returned after a one-year hiatus.
But in the hours before the parade began on Saturday morning the crowds that lined Colorado Boulevard were noticeably thinner.
While the return of the Rose Parade is seen by many as a cheerful respite from two painful pandemic years, it is clouded by a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Minutes before sunlight began to peek over the buildings in Pasadena’s Playhouse District, Leslie Lemus and her family parked their camping chairs along the parade route. In past years, people camped overnight for such a spot.
“You get like VIP views,” Lemus said to her 8-year-old daughter, who sat bundled in a thick hooded jacket. “Are you excited?”
Lemus, 29, of Downey grew up attending the parade. She’d camp overnight with her family to reserve a spot at the front to see the floats.
In years past, sidewalks would be packed by sunrise. The shouts and laughter of New Year’s revelers trickling out of bars would echo throughout the streets. Sidewalks would be cluttered with trash from campers and partiers. Traffic would congest local streets and freeways.
But this year, there was no traffic, parking was a breeze and Lemus easily found an empty spot on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue.
“I’m surprised there isn’t more people,” she said. “Now it’s more quiet and calm and controlled.”
She chalked up the smaller crowds to concerns around the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. But she felt comfortable attending since her whole family is vaccinated.
She still gets excited about seeing the floats in person.
“You get to see them up close, the details,” she said, her black surgical mask concealing a smile. “After the parade is over, you get to smell them, all the different flowers.”
Danelle Sullivan, 45 of Highland was expecting the usual rush of spectators when she decided to camp out to secure a prime spot along the parade route. Sullivan, her husband and her 9-year-old daughter had been huddled together on the street since noon on New Year’s Eve.
“We could’ve stayed warmer for longer,” Sullivan said at the idea of arriving later instead of camping. “But not really upset. To come out here is an adventure and it’s special to bring my husband out here.”
It was his first time seeing the parade in person, she said.
Photos: Rose Parade preparation returns after one-year hiatus
The Rose Parade will return Saturday. For many, the return will be seen as a cheerful respite from two painful pandemic years. But the parade — and its enormous crowd from across the country — are coming at a fraught time. Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are soaring again because of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Disruptions abound.
Challenges aside, the return of the Rose Parade will be welcomed by those who cherish it.
How to watch the Rose Parade from the comfort of your couch
There’s at least one way 2022 won’t be a repeat of 2021: The Rose Parade is back to usher in the new year.
After the 2021 festivities were hampered by the pandemic, the flower-filled Jan. 1 parade once again descends on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena — this time, as the Omicron variant continues to raise concerns — with LeVar Burton serving as grand marshal.
The celebration begins at 8 a.m. Pacific on New Year’s Day, and six networks will provide live coverage: Los Angeles’ KTLA (Channel 5), ABC, NBC, Univision, RDF-TV and Hallmark Drama Channel. Cable and satellite subscribers can stream the Rose Parade on those channels through authenticated platforms; the channels can also be accessed through live TV streaming services such as Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV and more.
Rose Parade returns amid new COVID-19 surge, bringing anxiety along with joy
New Year’s Day 2021 started with a pang of sadness for Aida Bueno.
Her beloved Rose Parade had been canceled for the first time since World War II. And for the first time in more than a decade, she didn’t get to spend a few joyous days decorating floats with volunteers from across the country, her “family from everywhere.”
“I didn’t know what to do with myself,” said Bueno, a nurse from Pico Rivera.
The Rose Parade will return Saturday. And this week, Bueno was back in her element: Flitting around a Pasadena warehouse with other decorators, slicing leaves, gluing dried fruit and seeds, blasting Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called to Say I Love You” from her phone and belting out the chorus.
“Coming back here every year is [about] trying to make people happy,” Bueno said. “To give people something to smile about. Especially nowadays, when there’s not a lot to smile about.”
For many, the return of the Rose Parade will be seen as a cheerful respite from two painful pandemic years. But the parade — and its enormous crowd from across the country — is coming at a fraught time. Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations are soaring again because of the highly contagious Omicron variant. Disruptions abound.