While it’s tempting to sleep in after those New Year’s parties and watch the Rose Parade on TV, the in-person Rose Parade experience is something that you have to experience at least once.
By Jonathan Ong
As a native Pasadenan, with it right in my own backyard, it’s shocking that I have never been to the Rose Parade in-person. At least, until this year! I made the resolution to see the Rose Parade in-person. It was a wonderful experience that everyone should give a try.
An in-person Rose Parade is a symphony for the senses: beautiful decorations, live music performances, and the smell of colored smoke wafting from a passing float. The painstaking work that the volunteers dedicate is truly amazing. All of the vibrant colors and designs are created from all natural materials such as flowers, seeds, and bark. (As a volunteer, who once spent an hour gluing seeds so that their brighter side faced outward, the work that these people do is incredible).
Some things only happen when you go in-person, waving back at the smiling people in floats and returning their greetings of “Happy New Year.” Going in-person makes it feel like being part of the parade. Having to plug your ears during the Stealth Bomber fly over makes the experience that much more real.
Some behind-the-scenes content never makes it to the livestreams or recordings. The Rose Parade in its raw, uncut form features people being cheered on by the crowd as they scoop up after horses, people being carried onto floats, and even floats stalling and having to be fixed. This year, one float was stalled for so long that floats began moving around it and continuing forward so that the show could go on!
Whether it’s getting hyped up with the crowd for a camera person, practicing your princess wave as Rose Court royalty passes, or dancing along to marching band tunes, the Rose Parade has something for everyone. As someone who lives here, I am glad to have finally lived the full in-person Rose Parade experience.
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