Talking to my New York friends I'm surprised to find out that they don't know everything about the Rose Parade. Many of them all they know is that there is a Rose Parade, but what it is, or why it is special, they do not know. Fortunately, I know what the Rose Parade is and why it is special. As its route is just a walk away from Grandma's house, Mom grew up going to to and I went to it all while living in California and have caught many since then.
Traditionally, our family would stake out a spot at Allen and Colorado, but those days have kind of passed. Fortunately we've become associated with associates of Grandma's and the spot they stake out. The way it goes is early in the morning the day before the parade you're allowed to put your chairs out and then someone from the crew keeps an eye on the spots throughout that day. I was happy to protect the chairs from 4:30 to 6:30 that night. There's a whole lot of pre-parade cruising up and down Colorado the night before the parade. It's a regular car show.
A note of family business: Cousin Scotty had a one-night layover on his way to Hawaii. Good to see you, Scotty! Or Scott now, probably.
Ok then on the morning of the parade (which is usually on the 1st unless the 1st is a Sunday, then it's on the 2nd, as was the case this year) you get to your spots nice and early because you don't want to miss all the pre-parade excitement along closed-down Colorado and you especially don't want to miss the B-2 stealth bomber fly over. So spooky and amazing, hard to believe these planes are from the 80's. Or 90's.
Some of the street sights before the parade...
Uh oh, Parade's about to start!
And here we are. The Parade.
And that was it for the Rose Parade. We went home to Grandma's to party with relatives and eat Chinese chicken salad, for which I had the honor of deep-frying the rice noodles. A real coming of age experience.
Also: Did you know that the floats in the parade are 100% completely covered in flowers or other vegetable matter? That's the rule. It's one of the things that makes this a classier parade than most. Also: No musical performances besides bands. That helps, too.