Posted in Around Town, Let's Get Visual, Pasadena

Rose Parade 2008 – Part Deux

By far, the crowd I was with gave the biggest cheer for Dodgers float. Major cheers were also given to the Support Vehicles, numbered 1 through 7, the “Plain Janes” of the parade. Can’t they stick a daisy or something on those puppies? The marching band from El Salvador was very well-received too. They didn’t have enough money to fly here, so they rented buses and started their journey on Christmas Day.

When the Dodger float showed, everyone was on their feet yelling and screaming, and someone popped a giant thing of confetti. I was yelling, “VINNIE, VINNIE” like a banshee, which attracted Eric Karros’ attention.


As soon as I actually watch the parade with coverage, I can tell you who the other two people are. Perhaps Takashi Saito on the right, but I’m not sure about the guy in the middle (anyone? anyone?). James Loney was on this side too.


LaSorda in red, and Vinnie in the middle waving.


Unnamed, but important, Dodger luminaries.

rp muertos 1

Ooohh, here comes my favorite float of ’08.

rp muertos 2

A new take on the Three Amigos.

rp muertos 3

A detail view. Overall, one of the best float design ideas in the past decade, and winner of the Extraordinaire Trophy: Most Spectacular (mind you, just about every float wins some award or other).

Some years, the parade seems loooonnnnngggggg. It didn’t this year. This is a sure sign that I’m getting older.

My personal weird parade moment? Standing with my back to “that float” and seeing its shadow pass over the crowd.

rp2 protestor

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems Tournament officials used tow trucks to great effect at the end of this year’s parade. In past years, I remember 3-4 tow trucks at the end, followed by the customary clump of shouty Jesus people. This year, there were ten (or more) tow trucks, honking their loud deafening horns. The Jesus people clump was reduced to smaller, spread out clumplettes. I saw one other protester…a guy with a t-shirt saying something about Tiananmen Square.

RV owners were also recruited drafted to help keep law and order, using their “eyes and ears”:

rp2 rv owners drafted

After the tow trucks, along came this guy:


Another sign of old age? I get a kick out of walking down the middle of Colorado Blvd after the parade.

rp2 crowd after parade

As soon as the parade was over, street vendors selling brunch showed up:

rp2 food vendor

One of these days, the City of Pasadena and the Tournament of Roses will develop a “Pack it in, Pack it out” campaign for parade goers. Or wise up and send teams of people throughout New Year’s Eve and into the wee hours to gather all the stuff that can be recycled. Until that day…

rp post parade carpet

…the remains of an attempt to carpet Colorado Boulevard.

rp2 box lunches

Boxed meal detritus in front of Pasadena City College.

Not as bad as hanging chads

Not as bad as hanging chads—bags waiting for pick-up.

rp2 recycler

Some individuals pick through and look for whatever may have been left behind…others take cans and bottles.

rp2 protest poster

Most of the human rights protesters I saw were on Orange Grove, way south of Colorado Boulevard and far from all the tv cameras. One woman that I talked to had come all the way from San Francisco. So from the perspective of the media, a quiet effort. But I’d venture to say that more people are aware of human rights issues in China than were a few months ago.

These things take time.

UPDATE:  Flickr photos from January 1, 2008 anti-war, pro-impeachment protest.