Flowery Fest Celebrates 121st

One of SoCal's grandest traditions is set to bloom.

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It is almost impossible to live in Southern California for any length of time and not feel a wee bit braggy about the annual Rose Parade.

Doesn't matter if you've never been in the royal court, or stepped onto a float, or sat in the grandstands, or even have caught more than a snippet or two on television. The Rose Parade just is, and it is gorgeous and traditional and festive, and that puts locals -- both Pasadena and Pasadena adjacent -- in a cheery (and yes, slightly proud) frame of mind come New Year's Day.

Our pride and braggy-ness just continues to grow, too. The parade is marking its 121st outing on Friday, January 1st, 2010. How many traditions reach, regally, their 121st birthday? Cheers, Rose Parade.

Heroic pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger III is the Grand Marshal in 2010. Shouldn't you get a spot on the curb to wave at Captain Sullenberger? We think so.

The royal court will also be on hand, of course, and the floats? They astound us year in, year out, with their technology and cleverness and girth (and also because every bit of surface has to be covered with some sort of natural substance, so think grasses, seeds and such).

Way back when, the floats were exceedingly humble and the afternoon activities included homespun tug-of-war competitions; now, the Tournament of Roses people report, a million people actually go to the parade, while another 40 million Americans tune in for the parade (which is broadcast on nine different stations, all listed on the web site).

Isn't that so like the undauntable, can-do California spirit -- starting small and then making it very, very big?

Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade
Friday, January 1, 2010 at 8AM
Corner of Orange Grove and Colorado Boulevards (see site for full route), Pasadena

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