On this beautiful Monday, the day after New Year’s Day, we rang in 2023 with a clear day in between stormageddons and the Rose Parade. While the parade, along with the Rose Bowl game is typically held on January 1st, the 2023 parade was held a day later. This is because the Tournament of Roses Association has held the tradition of not hosting the parade on Sundays. This started way back in 1893 and was with respect so as not to interrupt worship services along Colorado Boulevard or spook the horses hitched outside. While we wouldn’t have to consider scaring any horses in front of the many churches still lining sections of Pasadena’s iconic thoroughfare, this tradition is one that still is observed.
That said, it was a gorgeous day for a parade and was the lovely end to my winter break. Of course, this parade could not imprint itself on my memory in the same way that last year’s did, when it was reinstituted following the worst of the Covid19 pandemic, and Jacob as well as his high school band teacher marched in the parade. Nevertheless, the Rose Parade was alive in its quintessential pageantry.
The morning kicked off with the traditional flyover. Unlike the flyovers of the recent past, however, which involved a B-2 stealth bomber, it was performed by two B-1 Lancers. This was due to the fact that the B-2 fleet is currently grounded following an emergency landing earlier in December. But the twin plane flyover was still thunderous and lent itself to the excitement of the morning.
This year’s theme was “Turning the Corner.” The Tournament of Roses Association president stated that this was to celebrate the potential of the new year. The floats, while overall seemed smaller, were still magnificent and were exquisite floral tributes to nature, science, academic achievement, and the human spirit. Some of my favorites were the Cal Poly Universities’ float, “Road to Reclamation,” winner of the Extraordinaire Award; City of Burbank, “Adventure Awaits”; and Western Asset’s “Welcome to the Jungle.” Unsurprisingly, I really loved those floats that depicted nature and the outdoors.
Trader Joes had a really long float. It took me three photos to try to get it from where I was standing.:
The bands marching in the parade were, as usual, in fine form. There were several that caught my attention, such as Norfolk State University Spartan Legion Marching Band from Virginia. They performed a variety of upbeat songs, and I really enjoyed their rendition of ‘California Love” by 2Pac and Dr. Dre. I had never heard it played marching band style, and it was fire. There were also bands from out-of-state as well as overseas, including bands from Panama and Mexico.
The 134th Rose Parade was a fun way to kick off the new year. I hope that 2023 brings for you growth, joy, and success. Here’s to a new year and an adventure meant to be shared.