Tens of thousands of New Year’s revelers converged early Monday to watch floats and marching bands at Pasadena’s biggest event of the year - the Tournament of Roses Parade.
No problems were reported.
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At one point Monday morning, Occupy protesters, who participated in a march against corporate greed after the parade, lined a section of Orange Grove Boulevard, but their chants were drowned out by the nearby Marine Corps. Band as it warmed up.
Occupy protesters have built an unofficial float called Occupy Octopus. It's a 70-foot by 40-foot and made of recycled plastic bags. Protesters were putting in the last-minute touches at a nearby park while the parade got underway on Monday morning.
The parade, themed "Just Imagine," was expected to attract more than 150,000 visitors this year.
Dole’s “Preserving Paradise” float - a Royal Palace with an elephant, tiger and fruit - took top honors, the second year in a row that a Dole float won the title.
The big award winners include the city of Torrance, which won the Governor's Award for best depiction of life in California for its float titled “Looking Back, Moving Forward;” the Grand Marshal's Award for for excellence in creative concept and design to Discover Card for “The Dream Believers;” and the Director's Award for outstanding artistic merit to Bayer Advanced for “Garden of Imagination.”
Demonstrators with the Occupy Wall Street movement were expected to march in hopes of spreading their message that the nation's foreclosure crisis is out of control and there is too much corporate money in politics. Thousands of protesters began assembling just before 10 a.m. with police escorts.
Police met with leaders of the Occupy the Rose Parade movement beforehand and say they don’t expect problems.
Police gave demonstrators permission to march after the last official Rose Parade float and behind police escorts. Pasadena police declined to issue a permit for an organized Occupy the Rose Parade news conference, but told Occupy organizers they would not stop plans for the group to use amplifiers during a gathering at Pasadena City Hall after the march.
A crowd of some 93,000 is expected for Monday afternoon's Rose Bowl game between Big Ten Conference champion Wisconsin and Pacific-12 Conference champion Oregon. The opening kickoff is set for 2:10 p.m.
City officials urged fans attending the game to carpool, use public transportation or park in the Parsons Corp. parking lot and take a free shuttle bus to the stadium. Fans were also asked to arrive hours early to avoid Rose Parade traffic. Some 150,000 people were expected to crowd around the parade route on Colorado Boulevard.
And after the parade was over, float fans have another chance to view their favorites, this time up close.
The floats will be on display at Victor Park in Pasadena Tuesday, January 3rd from 7 am to 9 am for special assistance viewing and regular hours from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Victory Park is at Sierra Madre Blvd. & Washington Blvd. in Pasadena, CA 91107.