LOS ANGELES – The traditional Rose Parade, with its more than 40 colorful floats, made its way through the streets of Pasadena, California, on Monday, reaffirming itself as the family celebration par excellence to kick off the New Year.
The 129th edition of the beloved parade, the most important of its kind in the US, included 44 elaborate floats prepared by non-profit organizations, clubs and cities, all of them decorated with flowers, leaves, seeds and other natural materials, as well as 21 musical bands and 19 equestrian units.
“The Rose Parade is a day on which everyone gets together with ... flowers. It’s a day of joy and it’s a day to be happy,” Isabella Marez, the queen of this year’s parade, told EFE.
Starting early on Monday morning, some 800,000 people – according to local media – began gathering along the more than eight-kilometer (five-mile) parade route along Colorado Blvd. to enjoy the marvelous floats that were to pass by for the televised event, the US viewership of which was estimated at some 45 million.
“This, for me, is a symbol of exactly how we can work together as a society, coming from different countries, speaking different languages, having different experiences of social and economic status,” Laura Farber, the treasurer for the Tournament of Roses, which organized the parade, told EFE.
In 2020, Farber will become the first Latina to serve as president of the organization.
Amy Camacho, from Reno, Nevada, a diabetic who received kidney and pancreas transplants, rode on board one of the floats, thus fulfilling a childhood dream.
“To really be here and experience this is a little surreal,” the schoolteacher said, adding that she came out to “enjoy life” aboard a float decorated with figures of gigantic macaws, feathered serpents and a huge Aztec calendar stone.
The first Rose Parade was held in 1890 on Pasadena’s then-rural streets to celebrate New Year’s Day with an abundance of flowers, mainly roses.