Sunday, January 19, 2014

Join Me at the Rose Parade, Dreams Come True






Dreams Come True was the theme of the 2014 Rose Parade. That theme certainly fit our situation because it was our dream to actually attend the parade one day. Finally, in June, my hubby announced he was ordering the airline tickets to Pasadena, California, and to the Rose Parade! This trip was even better than we had ever imagined. The people, places, and even the weather, was delightful. I only wish I could share all 1000 pictures with you, but, um, no, I won't. Only 900?? LOL!

The Rose Parade celebrated 125 years in 2014. This unique parade did not begin as the elaborate high tech- jaw-dropping extravaganza we now know. Instead this new year tradition began in 1890 by Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club. According to the Rose Parade Guide, "the members wanted to promote the "Mediterranean of the West" so they invited their former East Coast neighbors to watch games such as chariot races, foot races, polo, and tug-of-war under the California sun.

"The abundance of flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add another showcase for Pasadena's charm: a parade to precede the competition, where entrants would decorate their carriages with hundreds of blooms".

The tradition of floral be-decked entries into the Tournament of Roses Parade continues, but now on a much larger scale. Flowers and natural materials from all over the world cover every inch of the floats. No paint allowed. Only nature's true colors add the excitement and texture to the elaborate designs.

We visited the float building areas and watched the organized chaos of this huge operation mostly done by volunteers. The tedious process of gluing on each petal or seed, yes tiny seeds, boggled my mind. 

Teen volunteers gluing on flower petals to the opening Rose Parade float. All generations work together to decorate the floats. Kids through senior citizens offer their skills.

These folks are tearing up straw flowers.


The volunteer brushes on glue, then sprinkles the petals in the box all over the gluey section.
Three locations offered views of the decorators in action. I was worried the floats would not be ready by step-off time at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, January 1. When we visited the sites on Monday morning, a lot of the seeds and grasses were glued on, but the delicate flowers had to wait till the last minute to be fresh for the parade judges. So, the volunteers work all day and all night. Such dedication. By the way, the floats were all done in time!

Okay, get ready. The parade is about to begin!

The United States Air Force Thunderbirds zoomed down the parade route thrilling parade viewers.

Opening banner to kick off the parade. This is the float the teens were working on in the picture above. Finished it too!!
A salute to a famous dreamer, Henry Ford. Behind is a rendition of the Spirit of St. Louis honoring dreamer Charles Lindbergh. 

City of Glendale Let's Be Neighbors. The float is based on a real bear who kept coming down into Glendale and raiding the trash cans.


The marauding bear earned the name of Meatball because he always ate the meatballs.
He wouldn't stay in the mountains, so they had to move him to a preserve. 

I wonder if they serve him meatballs there.

So Close, Yet Safari Away


TheK9s4Cops dedicated its float to the heroic K9 law enforcement units across America and to those who serve and protect our communities. This non-profit organization donates highly trained dogs to agencies who otherwise could not afford them.

A salute to the WWII Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) 
For more information go to the Girls Succeed blog 

These cute kitties are riding the RFD-TV float, You Make My Dreams Come True. Can you find the calico on the float below?

RFD-TV float

Gorgeous, elegant float. Of course, it's Beverly Hills. 

Sea World Park's Sea of Surprises

Adorable candy train

These 3 aliens surprised parade viewers by driving out of the space ship and traveling along the parade route. This was a first in parade history!

Wonderful Indonesia--This float got my vote for the most dazzling and exotic float.

Photos never can give the viewer the complete picture of this amazing design.

Monster truck--Had to take a lot of pictures of this monster truck for the grandkids! Made me giggle.

Trader Joes, a grocery store in CA, Relish Your Dreams. It's relish dish with cheeses and olives, etc.
A pickle followed along behind it. So clever.

Butterflies fluttered among the colorful flowers.

The dogs have stolen the dog catcher's truck in this animated float. One of the most humorous floats


Yep, he's running after them. What do you think? Can he catch them??

Have no doubt. Your dreams can come true too.
Thanks for visiting. Do you have a dream that came true? If so, please leave a comment saying yes. If you wish to share the dream with us, please do. 

5 comments:

helenafairfax.com said...

What beautiful photos, JQ! I'm glad your dream came true, and it was everything that you'd hoped. Thanks for sharing the wonderful parade

Susanne Drazic said...

Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing them!

Susanne Drazic said...

JQ, I hope you will stop by and accept the award I've nominated you for.

J Q Rose said...

Helena, glad you found the post. I wish I could have added about a 100 more photos, but I was afraid it would bog down the servers. Thanks!

J Q Rose said...

Susanne, thank you!! I do have a post coming up for the award..Going to CA set me back on everything.