Midway through Monday’s Rose Parade, a young girl in the crowd could be heard saying, “Mommy, this is so much fun,” as a giant giraffe reading a book held by a tiny mouse rolled by on the UPS Store’s float. The UPS Store is the exclusive sponsor for Toys for Tots Literacy Program, an organization that generously donates books and recreational resources to the less fortunate children.
The mother just smiled, looking down at the youngster, enjoying the 128th Rose Parade along Colorado Boulevard, watched by thousands along the parade route and millions more on televisions around the world.
For young and old, the Rose Parade is an annual spectacle not to be missed as the spirit and pageantry have been part of Pasadena for more than a century. In those early years, carriages with hundreds of blooms were the norm, but today have given way to high-tech computerized animation and natural materials from around the world.
Only six floats, including South Pasadena’s entry, are constructed entirely by volunteers while the others are built by professional building companies. The City of South Pasadena is proudly recognized as the oldest of the “self builts” in the parade, joining the cities of Sierra Madre, Burbank, Cal Poly, Downey, and La Cañada Flintridge.
Beautifully decorated floats are only one-third of the parade, as talented equestrian units and entertaining marching bands continue to make the Rose Parade a spectacle that will carry lifetime memories. “Thanks for bringing me here,” the little girl told her mom.