Rose Parade


We awoke early, in time to get up and get ready to watch the annual spectacle of the Rose Parade in Pasadena. In keeping with tradition (and no one reveres tradition more than the white jacketed Tournament of Roses committee, with the possible exception of the British royalty) the Parade is never held on a Sunday, and thus never interferes with the WASP worship traditions of the committee members. This benefited us by allowing a decent recovery period following our New Year’s Eve revelry (modest by most other people’s standards, but hey, we were up to one AM!)

Today was an exceptional weather day, even by Southern California standards; crystal clear skies, sunshine, and temperatures in the mid to high seventies by the time the last  float passed the reviewing stand across from the Norton Simon Museum, whose wall was appropriately decorated with the stylized Rose emblematic of the event. There has long been a rumor that the Rose Parade organizers had a pact with the devil, guaranteeing no precipitation during the march down Colorado Boulevard. While I would not be terribly surprised to discover that some of these eminent members had at least a passing acquaintance with Old Nick, all I can say is that in the 40 years since I lived here, I have never seen rain befall the actual parade. Sometimes there was rain before the start, occasionally rain after, but during? Never! You be the judge.

I have to confess; as cynical as I may be towards the politics and the motivation of the organizers, there is a beauty and grandeur in the artistic arrangement of the millions of flowers and plants that go into the making of one float, and youthful wholesomeness to the faces of the thousands of young people who come here from all around the world to take part in a spectacle and tradition that is jubilant, festive and uniquely American. Watching this event on television in the cold, snowbound homes of the Midwest and Northeast, I can certainly understand why each year several million people decide they want to pull up stakes, stop shoveling driveways, and move to Southern California. Like most Chamber of Commerce brochures, you have to take this one with a large grain of salt, but there is no denying the appeal of the image that is broadcast into cold and wet homes elsewhere.

The millions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer time that go into this event certainly could be spent more productively and wisely than investing them in this very ephemeral day, but the reality is, they wouldn’t be. If the Rose Parade were to be abolished, I doubt all those people who are involved in its creation would suddenly channel their energies into feeding the poor, or helping the homeless. (In fact, a number of these people do both.) People have the need to create something that is beautiful, artistic, that celebrates life. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t have had the enjoyment of watching the splendid group of kids from Japan infect the crowd with their energy and music, or the pale blond mariners from Sweden squinting at the masses lining the boulevard as they marched for the first time in this granddaddy of all American parades.

Happy New Year to you all,



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9 Responses to Rose Parade

  1. Jorge, On New Years Day Mother called and asked me if I would be watching the parade. She loves parades. For the pride and joy that is shown by those who do. The combined effort is greater than one and the effect touches many. Am glad to be about in this new year and glad to see you about too. As ever be well, my friend

  2. Beth Marie says:

    I think it would be wonderful to see the parade in person. I am glad you were able to.

    Happy New Year!!

  3. chicasl10 says:

    U happy New Year for u To Jorge.
    Sorry for delay But with the health probs of my bro in law( he died last monday) i was not that much at computer
    The rose parade is something like Brasil Carnival or so..I search on google and see nice ladies lol

  4. jingeorgia says:

    Hi Jorge and happy new year to you! I’ve never been to a grand parade like the Parade of Roses. I suppose I should add that to the bucket!

  5. Louis says:

    That sounds wonderful Jorge. I’ve never been to that part of the world, but you bring it alive in this cold rather dark spring. Thanks.

  6. gelert848 says:

    Thanks for popping over. I don’t blog so much now, but it’s still nice to be read. You’re not posting as much – or have you moved elsewhere? Let me know if so, please.

  7. ember850 says:

    The need for beauty is always there and producing something like the parade may be as important as caring for the homeless. In Judaism, it is considered extra-meritorious to perform a mitzvah with beautiful items as opposed to ugly or plain ones….hope you are well…neora

  8. gelert848 says:

    Are you okay Jorge? I miss your Musings.

    • Jorge Medico says:

      I’ve been too busy with other stuff this year, but it’s now to know you’re still around, and cared enough to drop by with this comment. Once the project I’m working on is over, I’ll post some more stuff, hopefully by the end of the year.
      Be well,

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