Rain can’t stop ‘Magic’

first_img Braving the rain, judges scrutinized the parade’s 48 floats early Monday before bestowing awards on half the entries. The Sweepstakes award – the parade’s top honor for the float with the “most beautiful entry with outstanding floral presentation and design” – went, fittingly, to the float sponsored by the FTD flower delivery company. The Farmers Insurance Group’s Protecting Your Family float that depicted a massive Tyrannosaurus rex shielding her baby from a pair of predatory dinosaurs was one of the crowd favorites. The crowd also applauded American Honda’s The Power of Dreams float that featured a 50-foot-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty and a 100-foot long U.S. flag that unfurled behind her. The college marching bands from Southern California and Texas, which will face each other Wednesday in the football championship game, also drew loud applause. The last soggy Rose Parade was in 1955. The Tournament of Roses is traditionally held on New Year’s morning, but a never-on-Sunday rule pushed the 117th parade to Monday. Up to 4 inches of rain was expected in Pasadena and the forecast predicted wind gusts up to 45 mph, said Jamie Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Oxnard. Ted Pettyjohn, 43, of Houston, and his wife and young son wore rain slickers to the parade. “We came all this way, rain or shine, we can’t go back now,” Pettyjohn said. “This is something that we’ve always wanted to see, so we have to stay.” Computer software designer Mohit Burohiti, of San Ramon, was at his first Rose Parade and debated leaving it. “I’m waiting for this to get done, but at the same time, I don’t want it to end because it’s so beautiful.” This year’s parade, titled “It’s Magical,” had retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as grand marshal. (Another Supreme Court Justice – Earl Warren – served as grand marshal the last time rain fell on the parade.) One of the floats included a mermaid on a sea shell chariot pulled by a pair of giant fish, and Disney’s float depicted five castles from its theme parks. For the first time in its history, the festivities included performances by artists such as Grammy-winning singer LeAnn Rimes, who performed at the start of the parade, and singer Toni Braxton, who sang aboard the Magical Music Machine float. Magician Lance Burton also appeared on the Your Wish Is My Command float. The float featuring a genie and his magic carpet prompted some in the crowd to shout, “Stop the rain! Stop the rain!” Organizers did not take any chances with the weather. Hundreds of plastic ponchos for band musicians and parade volunteers were ordered, horses were fitted with skid-resistant shoes, and float-builders rolled out sheets of plastic to protect orchids and other delicate flowers. The glue that holds decorations to the floats is waterproof and the floats are designed to withstand 50 mph winds. But a major concern was the electronic equipment inside the floats, used for music and as loud speakers, said Larry Palmer, spokesman for Phoenix Decoration Company, which has 22 floats in the parade. Equipment was being covered with plastic, he said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PASADENA – It rained on the Rose Parade for the first time in more than a half century, forcing hundreds to leave the floral spectacle before it finished. The heavy rain and strong winds prompted Susan Johnson, 43, of Phoenix, to leave her spot on the parade route. “I’m already so wet that if I stay, I’ll end up in the emergency room,” Johnson said. Ken Allan, 59, of Diamond Park, braved the weather, but felt sorry for some of the parade participants. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “I feel bad for all those marching band girls. They stay out here like this, they’re going to get sick,” Allan said. The stormy weather prompted the Rose Queen, band members and horse riders to don ponchos, but the event started as planned shortly after 8 a.m. Rose Queen Camille Clark, who turned 18 on Monday, was draped in a clear poncho so spectators and viewers could see her white gown. “They are going to be a little wet on the bottom,” Clark said just before the parade. “It’s still magical. It’s my birthday. It’s a wonderful day for me.” Soon after she spoke, the rain intensified and the wind kicked up, bending umbrellas and whipping rain slickers. Several hundred die-hard fans camped out overnight along the Rose Parade route, but crowds were thin and front row spots remained open a half-hour before start time as many people remained pinned to building walls to escape the rain. last_img read more