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Happy New Year from the 2009 Rose Parade!

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Published: January 1, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Happy New Year from Pasadena, California, where yours truly was up early this morning - at a new location - to bring you photos and videos from the 120th annual Rose Parade.

This year's theme was "Hats off to Entertainment" and the opening float from Honda, featuring a 50-foot version of its ASIMO robot, displayed the theme literally.

Earlier this week, I showed you photos of the Honda float, and others, under construction. Here's how the Trader Joe's float turned out:

Rain Bird won this year's Sweepstakes trophy for "most beautiful entry."

Here is the Pasadena City College's Honor Band, performing a parade classic, "76 Trombones" from "The Music Man."

Here's a close-up look at the Farmers Insurance float we saw earlier. It won the Craftsman award for exceptional showmanship.

The City of Cerritos won the Grand Marshal's trophy for this float, co-sponsored by Medieval Times.

The City of Sierra Madre won for most beautiful non-commercial float for this tribute to Bollywood.

Wile E. Coyote remains in hot pursuit of the Road Runner on New Mexico's Rose Parade float.

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle makes a cameo appearance, in floral form, on the City of Anaheim's float.

Believe it or not, the National of Associates of Realtors entered a float this year. Why are those folks in boats? Because their house is underwater!

The Kiwanis entry won for most beautiful small float.

Some of the floats include impressive animation elements. Here is an example from the Kaiser Permanente float, which won for "exception merit in multiple categories."

Here is that amusement park-themed float from Cal Poly:

I'm posting this one for the folks at Busch Entertainment Corp. It's the City of St. Louis float, pulled by a team of Clydesdales and featuring a certain beer company's famous wagon. With no sign of "InBev" anywhere. Enjoy, folks.

The most over-the-top, outrageously fun float had to have been Jack in the Box's tribute to Disco, complete with live band and dancers. And, of course, Jack, there in the middle.

Bayer Advanced won the Fantasy award for its floral tribute to the Wizard of Oz, another float we saw under construction earlier this week.

So... which was your favorite float in this year's Rose Parade? Tell us about it in the comments. And, again, happy new year from ThemeParkInsider.com!

Updated: My wife Laurie has posted some photos from our traditional spot at the end of the Rose Parade route.

Readers' Opinions

From Brian Emery on January 1, 2009 at 2:30 PM
Many Thanks and Happy New Year….

I love this Parade…. Fantastic!!

From Robert Niles on January 2, 2009 at 4:40 PM
By the way, on New Year's Day it was crystal-clear, sunny and in the upper 70s. Perfect TV weather.

Today, Jan. 2, in Pasadena, it's foggy and in the low 50s. ;-)

From Brian Emery on January 2, 2009 at 8:49 PM
Once again, thanks Robert…

Not too many responses, but every year I watch this Parade.. This year I had my wife and daughter watched it with me and they both enjoyed it…

Pasadena looks nice, might be a nice place to retire to…Someday…

From Liz Ph on January 3, 2009 at 12:34 PM
Thanks for the best pictures I have been able to find on the parade! I missed seeing it, as I was sick; so your pictoral and video fill in was nice to come across.

Also, I appreciated your featuring a band. It's so nice to actually hear the music instead of the yappy broadcasters talking over all of them!

Again, thanks and Happy 2009!

From Roseanne Brown on January 3, 2009 at 6:49 PM
Although we had 4 floats in our barn I think I like the Jack o licious best. The dancers were great and I loved the outfits and energy. I met Raul Rodriguez and petted his parrot. I met the jack on the float and my daughter and her oldest child were there all night on the 30th.This is my third year volunteering at Festival Artists World Wide and I love it. I turned 62 on 12/11 and it makes me happy to bring these floats to millions as the most fantastic examples of unity. Thousand of people help with this venture. I glued my coat to my arm during the night and everyone had a laugh. May everyone enjoy a blessed new year and watch next years rose parade.
From Robert Niles on January 3, 2009 at 9:55 PM
Laurie has posted some pictures from our traditional spot at the back of the route.

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