The balloons are spectacular, but just floating there alone, they lack any drama or context, too.
That said, the Rose Parade is really slipping. The floats remain gorgeous, but the parade is not reaching out to new sponsors who might inject some life into the parade. Where are the Yahoo and Google floats? Why can't the parade get more studios involved, creating floats to promote their films? The Star Wars stuff last year was great. Too bad it wasn't in the parade 25 years earlier. Where's Harry Potter?
The biggest problem with the Rose Parade, however, has always been its lack of conclusion. Macy's heralds the arrival of Santa Claus. The Rose Parade offers nothing to wrap it all up at its end, just a swarm of tow trucks, honking.
All this said, I'll take SoCal on Jan. 1 over New York in late November every time.