As my mother-in-law once quipped in her annual Christmas letter, much to the entertainment of her children and grandchildren, "The seats are up all along Colorado Boulevard." Of course, her six grandsons imagined something quite different than the reality of miles and miles of metal and wood grandstands.
Mom is here from Arizona for a holiday visit and we have just returned from a not-so-quick drive along the route of the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. Our home is exactly one block off the formation area along Orange Grove Boulevard, and three blocks from the actual starting position of the parade. Driving along the parade route is an annual ritual, mostly so we can be mighty happy that we aren't spending the night on the ground.
Folks typically start coming into town early on New Year's Eve day in preparation for the 12 noon opening of curbside camping. This year, people are prepared for a chilly California evening with barbeque-type fire pits, inflatable beds, lots of blankets, and warm clothes. The mecury will dip into the low 40s which is "nothing" for most of the country, but "freeeeezing" for us.
Getting ready for the Rose Queen Float!
We are ready for the expected unexpected guests that usually drop in on New Year's Eve... friends, and friends of friends in need of a warm up and rest stop while checking out the route and watching the huge floats move into position. This will begin after midnight, and is an annual tradition for Mr. Curator and sons. They walk along the formation area with big cigars checking out the floats and visiting with neighbors doing the same thing. Of course, such a late night means they are too wiped out to get up early for the parade itself, but we do usually manage to catch the stealth bombers as they fly overhead to mark the opening of the event.
I think that all of Pasadena joins the party tonight. There will be thousands and thousands lining the streets just blocks away and at midnight we will be part of the loud shouts and noisemaking to welcome in 2010. Open your window tonight and you just might be able to hear us too!