What to Watch for at the 125th Rose Parade

Local floats, rosy queens, and Mr. Vin Scully as grand marshal, natch.

If you've ever visited a place with a lot of overwhelming color, sights, and details, you know it can be a bit tricky to pick out particular memories once you're back home.

Which is why its always a good idea to approach a spectacle like the Rose Parade with an eye out for a few special touches. With millions of petals and hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers and thousands lining the curbs of Colorado Boulevard, the New Year's Day tradition is often best approached by taking small, significantly noticed bites.

Here are some tasty parts of the big buffet...

Bite one? The City of LA float, which will feature some of our region's "most iconic landmarks" will roll down the boulevard on Jan. 1. Some 12,000 orchids dot the float, which includes a gargantuan replica of Watts Towers and a Chinese dragon that exhales steam. And, yep,Endeavour makes a cameo, too (though let's note that the real space shuttle was not covered in flowers when it zoomed through our upper atmosphere, for obvious reasons).

Bite two? Mr. Vin Scully will be waving from the Grand Marshal's car. The parade, which marks its 125th in 2014, has spotlighted a host of headlining marshals -- hi, Kermit the Frog -- but sometimes the choice gets downright local. Angelenos will be out in full, waving force to greet the baseball icon, so count on seeing some Dodger blue in the crowd.

Bite three? The royal float is a fan favorite, and has been for the better part of a century. (And we do mean "the better part" -- Ana Maria Acosta is the 96th Rose Queen.) The queen's crown also hails from nature, like so much of the parade, but the twinkles come from over 600 cultured pearls and six carats worth of diamonds.

Bite four? Let's give some love to the famous "white suits" of the venerable extravaganza. Nearly a thousand or so volunteers don the crisply casual, oh-so-iconic wear before heading out to the route and making sure the day flows in the majestic and seamless way it almost always does. They deserve a wave or two during the day as well.


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The 125th Tournament of Roses Parade kicks off at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1.

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