PASADENA, Calif. ( Associated Press) – Flower-draped floats, marching bands and equestrian units celebrated the New Year on a cold and dry Monday morning as California’s 134th Rose Parade was spared from recent torrential rains.
Pasadena’s annual flower show has an upbeat theme for 2023, “Turning the Corner,” and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords of Arizona, who survived the 2011 shooting, is its grand marshal.
“The New Year is a time of renewal, a chance for a fresh start,” Tournament of Roses president Amy Wainscott told television viewers.
The parade, which traditionally takes place on January 2 when New Year’s falls on a Sunday, opened with Los Angeles band Fitz and the Tantrums! A performance of “Let Yourself Free” and a demonstration flight of two US Air Force B-1B jets.
It rarely rains during the parade, but this year it was close. Thunderstorms hit Southern California over the weekend and rain is expected again Monday afternoon, which could affect the college football game between Utah and Penn State at the Rose Bowl.
Meanwhile, thousands of spectators and parade participants were shielded from the splash.
Giffords paraded along the 5.5-mile (8-kilometer) route in a vintage convertible with her husband, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona.
Marching bands from various parts of the United States and countries such as Mexico, Italy, and Japan join the parade.
Riverside County, California, Mounted Police were led by a horse without a rider in honor of 32-year-old Officer Isaiah Cordero, who was killed on December 29 during a traffic check.
Many floats referencing natural beauty: birds, bears, bees, insects and giraffes were made from flowers and other organic materials. There was also an optimistic message from a California State Polytechnic University car titled “Road to Reclamation”, which featured animated snails and mushrooms living on a fallen branch.
The “Feed Your Soul” wagon from the Louisiana Office of Tourism was shaped like a steamboat and was the setting for Lanny Wilson’s mid-parade introduction.
Organ donation organization Donate Life presented a bright orange and red Chinese dragon blowing smoke from its nose and was awarded the Most Beautiful Car trophy by the Tournament of Roses judges.
“American Idol” finalist Grace Kinsler performed a musical number on a car to promote tourism in her native Illinois, and country star Tanya Tucker performed her hit single “Ready As I’ll Never Be” at the end of the parade. performed.