Greetings from soggy Pasadena!
How ironic that the first thing one wants after standing in the rain for three hours is... a shower.
I've stood on many rain-soaked parade routes in my days as an attractions host at Walt Disney World. But when it rains on the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, no one cancels the show. So out there I stood, rain soaking every inch of fabric on my body, even though I was wearing a rain poncho, supplemented with a couple of garbage bags.
If you watched the show on TV, you missed the deluge that soaked the five-and-a-half mile parade route soon after the units marched past the cameras at the very start of the route. By 11 a.m. Pasadena time, the rain was coming down sideways.
But I caught some pictures of Disney's Rose Parade float, which ironically won the Craftsman Award. Ironic, because the float couldn't make it to the end of the parade without a tow.
I am thankful that any of the floats made it through the parade. From what I could see on the TV, many of them had sections being washed away. Even on the bright sunny days you can expect a few floats to go down and need a tow. They station a tow truck for each entry all along the route, and a poop out van behind the bands. They never show them on the TV, but by the time they get to mile 3 or 4 it shows. I think the Disney float was wonderful and deserving of the award. It was much more impressive in real life then in the concept images, which is unusual. They did another great job of portraying the theme, although the theme seemed tailor made for the imagineers.
Actually, most floats held up pretty well. Only those that used a lot of seeds for skin and surface effects showed water damage. The floral, leaf and cotton surfaces held up well. And the number of floats needing tows was not significantly larger than previous years'. (Though I noticed more trucks than usual on hand.) Disney's float was clearly in the worst shape of all by the end of the route -- not only did it need the tow, the float did not, or could not, raise its castle spires after emerging from the I-210 overpass. In past years, the Disney float has always run its animation after the I-210. Not doing so is bad show for the tens of thousands of parade viewers who, even yesterday, stood along the route north of the highway, no matter the cause. Float designers spend big bucks crafting their floats to make it to the end of the route. Disney tried an more ambitious design this year, and coupled with the extra weigth from accumulated water, did not make it. Here's hoping that like everyone else in the parade, it learns from this year and comes back with an even more spectacular, and durable, float next year.
Too bad about the lack of animation after the 210. From what I saw on TV it was spectacular and included fireworks! Glad to hear that most of the floats made it to the end. Felt sorry for the bands in the raincoats. Can't be easy to march that far covered in a plastic bag and twirling the baton. I hope that we hold to tradition and not have rain for quite a while. On the plus side, not as many people want to move to California after the parade.
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