Loading articles...

124th Rose Parade kicks off on a chilly New Year's morning in Pasadena

Volunteer David Burney from Milwaukee helps put the finishing touches on the RDF TV rose float in Pasadena Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

PASADENA, Calif. – The 124th Rose Parade in Pasadena kicked off on a chilly New Year’s morning with the theme “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” named in honour of the Dr. Seuss book.

Led by this year’s grand marshal, British primatologist Jane Goodall, the parade features 42 floats covered with flowers and plant material, 23 marching bands and 21 equestrian units from across the country.

An estimated 700,000 spectators are lining the streets to view the 5-mile-long spectacle, which is broadcast around the world. This year’s parade features the first-ever float entered by the Defence Department and a couple getting married on a float.

The $247,000 military float is a replica of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington to commemorate the veterans from that conflict.

The float that scooped up the parade’s grand “Sweepstakes” prize for the most beautiful floral presentation and design was “Dreaming in Paradise” by fruit and vegetable producer Dole.

Die-hard parade fans staked out their spots early Monday with folding chairs, hammocks and portable barbeque grills.

They brought in the new year by throwing marshmallows, shaving cream and tortillas, and then hunkered down to stay warm in sleeping bags during a particularly cold night for Southern California.

The wave of under-40-degree temperature spurred a number of cold-weather exposure calls to emergency personnel, police department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian told City News Service.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, police had made a total of 22 arrests along the parade route since 6 p.m. Monday, said police Lt. Rick Aversan.

All but one arrest were for public intoxication. The other was for possession of burglary tools that could have been used to break into cars, police said.