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Denise J T Lee | profile | all galleries >> 2010 Rose Parade tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

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2010 Rose Parade

On New Year's Eve, while the Time Square in New York was crowded with people from everywhere waiting for the countdown, I was in the middle of nowhere - flying from New York to Los Angeles in order to join a group of good friends to watch the extraordinary and fabulous parade that takes place annually on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Southern California.

This parade is not like any other parades. It has been a tradition for 121 years that all the floats have to be covered and decorated with things from the genuine plants. Flowers, leaves, seeds, corns, nuts, fruits.... anything that's real and in its natural colour, no dye, no spray. It requires a lot of time, patience and skill to process the dried parts and glue them on the beautifully designed floats full of creative details. There are plenty of volunteers for the preparation work every year. They all feel honoured to be a participant in this great event.

The floats are sponsored by various communities, organisations, universities and different cities of California and even other states. People start holding a spot on the street the day before if they don't have a ticketed seat. Wherever they sit or stand to watch it, they applaud and cheer happily together. The atmosphere is overwhelming. This unique parade is one of the prides and joys of the Californians.

A few hours after the parade, the gigantic floats are parked in another area for public viewing. People can see and hear how each masterpiece was tailored and completed, appreciate the artwork and take pictures from a short distance.

It was the very first time I experienced this Californian spirit, and was deeply impressed. Big thanks to my dear friends in Southern California for taking me there and letting me share their excitement, not only about this spectacular parade, but also about the beginning of a new year.

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