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Laurie Niles

Happy New Year, from Pasadena and the Rose Parade!

January 1, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Happy New Year to members and readers all around the globe!

Since the world headquarters (aka my desk) are located in Pasadena, California, I'd be remiss if I didn't give you a little first-hand account of the annual Rose Parade, a longstanding New Year's morning tradition here in the United States. The Parade had bands, floats and other marchers from all over the world, including Veracruz, Mexico; New South Wales, Australia; Taiwan; Oklahoma; Kingwood, Texas; Pulaski, Wisconsin; Butler, Pennsylvania; Kingsport, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Fayetteville, Georgia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Waukesha, Wisconsin; Glendale, Arizona; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

It happens to occur just three blocks from our house, so we simply walk up to the street and join some friends, who have annually taken measures to reserve a very specific patch of pavement for some 25 years. As soon as we saw the parade starting on T.V. and heard the stealth bomber flying over our house, we knew it was time to head out. The parade actually takes about two hours to arrive at our spot near the end of the route, which is a staggering five and a half miles.

I say staggering because that is what many people are doing by the time they reach us. Note the tired expressions of these band members:


They actually played us something, but some bands can barely play any more after so much marching, and no doubt they are boiling hot in those uniforms, and rather thirsty. Observe the man running water to marchers in the Michigan band!


Even some of the floats are tired; those bird houses for the City of Los Angeles float used to be all standing up, but they had to put them down to go under the highway, and they never put them back up afterwards.


But some still look awesome, like this float for American Honda, which had two dragons with moving heads, hissing at one another.


And some of the marchers are still in good form, like these dancers with the Marching Band of the General Secondaria Escuela No. 5 from Xalpa, Veracruz, Mexico.


My favorite band, though, was the Oklahoma All-Star Centennial Band, which stopped in front of us, then broke ranks and ran to the side, shaking our hands, smiling and saying, “Happy New Year!” We offered them our box of donuts, and several members gladly took a few, downing them hungrily in the several seconds before they marched on.

Happy New Year!


(Read Robert's account on his website, too!)

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on January 1, 2007 at 10:48 PM
Wow, great pictures. So much sun and nice weather. It's making me homesick. I lived in Pasadena for 3 years in the mid-90's and I never went to that parade. It was pretty amazing how bad the streets looked afterwards, though, so much paper and other junk. I did go once to look at the floats after the parade, they had an exhibition. Do they still do that?
From Laurie Niles
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 12:12 AM
They still have the exhibition, though we didn't go. Yes, the streets look awful, trash everywhere!
From Donna Clegg
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 12:27 AM
I thought about you this morning as I watched the parade still dressed in my pjs. I've been a Tournament of Roses parade lover since childhood. It was the first program I ever watched on a color tv - at a friend's house of course, as my Dad was a black & white holdout for many years. I can't believe some of the floats look so sad by the time they finish the parade! The fire breathing dragons were my favorite float and the Oklahoma band was definitely good too. I'm glad you had great weather this year.
From Sydney M.
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 2:01 AM
A band waterboy! hahahaha!
From Richard Hellinger
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 2:35 AM
I feel sorry for the people with the sousaphones.. I know how heavy they are to start with, and their weight seems to multiply!

The water bow better watch out! lol. I know marching band people in big compeitions/parades. They won't stop for anything!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 5:57 PM
Cool photos! But how come you are not modeling you shirt for the assembled multitudes?
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 11:25 PM
That's the closest to the real Carnaby Street mod cap I've seen in a few decades. Love it! Thought the L.A. float was about mudslides till your explanation. Seriously.
From Laurie Niles
Posted on January 3, 2007 at 6:14 AM
Why thank you, Jim, we do try to set the trends here at Or resurrect them, i.e. the lifetime goal of making violin playing fashionable forevermore!

And speaking of which, yes, I would have worn the V.commie T-shirt if only it had been about 15 degrees warmer! Gonna have to work on the parka....

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on January 3, 2007 at 1:49 PM
No parka. Maybe Nehru jacket with free logo medallion chain.
From Neil Cameron
Posted on January 4, 2007 at 1:37 PM
Like groooovvvvyyyy gravy.

Wavy Neil

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on January 4, 2007 at 2:34 PM
Don't trust anybody over 60.

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