January 1, 2011 by staff
Rose Bowl, (AP) – After a holiday season of relentless rain in southern California, the Rose Parade was bathed in abundant sunshine Saturday. Clear skies and cool temperatures greeted the floats, ponies and princesses who were to ride on Colorado Boulevard at 8 am Food Network star and cookbook author People’s Paula Deen has been serving as grand marshal and 17 years, Elizabeth Friedmann Evanna La Canada was the queen of the parade on the theme “Building dreams, friendships and memories.”
Many of those who staked Prime viewing spots on the sidewalks have faced temperatures that plunged into the 40s overnight. By early Saturday, they were shivering under blankets and huddled around campfires to stay warm.
“It was cold, but worth it,” said Mark Tarango as he rolled up his sleeping bag one in the beginning of the 5 ½ – mile parade route, which should be set with the largest number as 700,000 spectators.
Tarango and his wife drove from Bakersfield; about two hours on Friday for their three children could attend the show for the first time.
“You get to enjoy it more in person. You miss the details, the smells, the festive atmosphere on television, “he said.
Some diehard fans who do not camp overnight rose before dawn to walk up and down Orange Grove Boulevard, eager to get a close up of the fleet before the parade began.
Gerilyn Freedman, Woodland Hills, said that during the last 10 years she has learned to sleep early the night before New Year so she could get up early to admire the fleet before the crowds arrives.
“I feel like a kid the night before. I’m so excited about the parade that I can not wait to get up, “said Freedman.
The weather has dominated the preparations leading to the parade. Workers preparing floats and stands in Southern California have faced and soaking conditions, the East Coast blizzard makes travel difficult for participants, including a bunch of high school that saw half its members Philadelphia stranded with fears they would not go to the parade of elite. But all 350 members of the Downingtown High School Band are set to be in uniform Saturday.
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