Day 4: January 3rd, 2006


Up Close with Parade Floats


Flower details
Flower details
Jonn and I got up early and headed over to Pasadena to see the Rose Parade floats up close. Even though it had rained very hard during the parade, surprisingly most of the floats held up very well. They were all lined up in streets surrounding Pasadena High School. There were food vendors, souvenir stands, and even a short movie on the making of a float (which we didn't get the chance to see).

We walked up and down the floats. Thankfully we got there right as it opened so the crowd was pretty light. It was so amazing to see them up close and how each of the different elements... colors... patterns... everything was created with natural materials. Some of the floats were moving or shooting water or smoke (although not all were running at this post-parade event).

Twice we met people who had volunteered building the floats while standing in front of their handiwork. One was a lovely group of women, one of which owned a florist shop for 23 years and had always dreamed of seeing the Rose Parade. They came down to see the parade and went to the pre-parade viewing... and they were fortunate enough that one of the floats was still being assembled. The ladies helped decorate... both getting the roses ready for placement and actually putting them on the float. And in her own words, she felt that she had been preparing for 23 years to utilize her skills in the Rose Parade.

We met another woman dressed in UT gear from Austin. She had helped with one of the floats as well. On her shirt was a button with a man's picture in it... as we discussed what she had done, she told us that she had gone to the parade the year before with her husband, Bill. They had such a great time that they planned on returning, even if UT wasn't in the game. Bill passed away in September so she was making her pilgramage in his honor. He was even inurned at the famous Crystal Cathedral in LA. I then shared with her my story about attending the Rose Bowl with my father the year before and what a special trip it was for me... especially with his passing in March. We both got a little choked up talking with each other.

Even though we were on a fairly tight schedule, we managed to see all of the floats on display. It was really amazing to see... and worth another trip out to LA in better weather to see the parade in full regalia.
Watch the Magic float in action
Download the movie


Watch the Pirate float in action
Download the movie



Go to Rose Bowl Kickoff Luncheon >>
The leading parade float
The leading parade float
3 woman who decorated a float
3 woman who decorated a float
Float detail
Float detail
Jimmy and Bill's wife in front of her decorating job
Jimmy and Bill's wife in front of her decorating job
Bill
Bill
Jimmy and Jonn in front of the UT float
Jimmy and Jonn in front of the UT float
Roses
Roses