Photos: After canceling last year, the Rose Parade is back, in full bloom

Honda's float, "Believe and Achieve," in the Rose Parade on Saturday.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Share

The Rose Parade is back.

After the coronavirus forced its first cancellation since World War II last year, the whimsical, flower-filled procession returned to Pasadena on Saturday.

The parade began at 8 a.m., with actor and television host LeVar Burton serving as grand marshal. The theme was “Dream. Achieve. Believe.”

The Wetzel's Pretzels float, "California Crusin’."
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
Advertisement

The Rotary float, "Changing Lives Through Education."
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)

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.

As spectators from across the country lined Colorado Boulevard, nearly 1 in 4 people in Los Angeles County who are being tested are positive for the coronavirus, and totals of new infections are doubling every two days.

The parade crowd was smaller than in years past. Although some people had been camped along the route since midday on New Year’s Eve — a beloved tradition for those hoping to score a good view of the floats — many arrived Saturday morning and found front-row spots and, practically unheard of, nearby parking.

The city of Burbank's float, "An Unlikely Tale."
The city of Burbank’s float, “An Unlikely Tale.”
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Parade-goers on Saturday.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Advertisement

Cal Poly University's float, "Stargazers."
Cal Poly University’s float, “Stargazers.”
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
The California Physical Therapy Assn.'s float.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Performers from San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
Medically Home's float, "Home is Where My Hospital Is."
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
The Donate Life float, "Courage to Hope."
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Pasadena Mayor Victor M. Gordo, right, in the Rose Parade.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
California Physical Therapy Association float 'Physical Therapist Improve The Way You Move" at the 2022 Rose Bowl Parade
California Physical Therapy Assn.'s float.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The Mira Mesa High School marching band.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's float.
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance float.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Louisiana Travel and Tourism had a float at the parade.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Advertisement

A performer with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance interacts with the crowd.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
The Honda float.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
The UPS Store's float was called "Rise, Shine, & Read!"
The UPS Store’s float was called “Rise, Shine, & Read!”
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
Kaiser Permanente promoted "A Healthier Future."
Kaiser Permanente promoted “A Healthier Future.”
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The Hebron High School marching band from Carrollton, Texas.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
The Sierra Madre Rose Float Assn. float, "Nature's Classroom."
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
A replica airplane with the United States Air Force Total Force Band.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
University of Utah fans cheer for the team's float.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
The Royal Court float rides along Colorado Boulevard.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
A detail from the Medically Home float.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Advertisement

The city of Alhambra's float, "School Rocks."
The city of Alhambra’s float, “School Rocks.”
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Honda's float.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The float from "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom."
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
University of Utah cheerleaders.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
The Wetzel's Pretzels float.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
The crowd in Pasadena.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
The Hebron High School band.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Arcadia Apache marching band and color guard.
Arcadia Apache marching band and color guard.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The Rose Parade crowd gathers along Colorado Boulevard
The crowd on Colorado Boulevard.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Performers in the parade.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
Advertisement

The University of Utah float.
The University of Utah float.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
People in military fatigues carry a huge U.S. flag.
The U.S. Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A baton twirler with the Ohio State University marching band.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
The Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation had a float in the parade.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
People on the sideline get a close-up view of a lion decoration on a float
Spectators get a close-up view.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
The crowd watches the parade and takes pictures.
The crowd.
(Kyusung Gong / For The Times)
A woman wakes up along the Rose Parade route next to a man.
Morgan Bell wakes up along the Rose Parade route on Saturday.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A man with a dog on his lap sits in a plastic container next to an inflatable mattress
Angel Diaz improvises to stay warm along the Rose Parade route.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)
A person covered in a blanket sleeps on an inflatable mattress.
The Aragon family of Palmdale camps on the street Friday before the parade.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)