Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Love a (Rose) Parade!

Well, yesterday was quite simply a dream come true and the thrill of a lifetime!

Thanks to a group of wonderful and generous friends, I rode on the Kiwanis International float in the Rose Parade (see this post for background). That's me waving to the right of horse in the photo above.

The day before the parade, all the riders got together in front of the float at the Rosemont Pavilion. The woman in the chair is 99-year-old Eleanor, who rode on the Vista del Arroyo Hotel float when she was 16. The others are Kiwanis International officials, Key Club high school students from around the world and Miss Latina Global. It has been the wish of the boy at front left, all his short life, to ride in the Rose Parade, so Kiwanis International flew him here from Charlotte, North Carolina.

Our navigator, who sat under the front of the float giving instructions to the driver in the back of the float:

The driver's seat:

Julie was trying to escape my lens in this next photo and almost made it! Her father, a member of Kiwanis for 50 years, was scheduled to be next to me on the float but was too ill so Julie rode in his honor, carrying a framed photo of herself with her dad in healthier circumstances. The guy in the white suit is a Tournament of Roses official.

The Wrigley Mansion, headquarters of the Tournament of Roses, is owned by the City of Pasadena. I shot this as we were passing the mansion on Orange Grove Boulevard:

Looking up at the Goodyear Blimp while "floating" down Colorado Boulevard:

A miniscule glimpse of the estimated 700,000 people who lined the 5.5-mile Rose Parade route:

My long-time PIO pal Karen George shot this on her TV screen in Minnesota:

By the end of the day I was happy, giddy, emotional, you name it! It was the thrill of a lifetime.

I can never repay the fantastic generosity of the friends who made this happen for me.

And many thanks to Cafe Pasadena for the top photo, which he shot from a rooftop on Colorado Boulevard.

See the next post down for what led up to this incredible day! And then go here for even more photos.


Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

"The woman in the chair is 99-year-old Eleanor, who rode on the Vista del Arroyo Hotel float when she was 16."


Ysabelle said...

what a beautiful flower parade, it looks like here in Baguio Philippines we have a float parade it's called " Panagbenga festival" I like your town it's very beautiful :D


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Petrea Burchard said...

Fantastic, absolutely fantastic.