A monkey king reigned over the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade. The royal float, entitled ‘Journey to Success,’ was joined by surfing dogs, a 42-foot giraffe and a tiny unicorn -- all making their way down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard this past New Year’s Day. The floats at this year’s parade were noted for their sheer size, like one that broke all records for length and weight, while others dazzled on cuteness alone as did a herd of miniature horses prancing down the street.
Celebrating the parade theme “Echoes of Success,” this year’s event featured three Olympians as grand marshals -- a subtle nod to Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympics. And though a light rain sprinkled the area following the event, true to form, it never rained on this parade -- only a light mist dampened the day, which has historically been rain-free. In fact, in its history only 10 times have clouds soaked the festivities.
Among the entries that honored the past, here were some of our favorites:
Gnarly Crankin’ K-9 Wave Maker -- The surfing dogs on this Lucy Pet Foundation float were an instant favorite of the crowds. The longest and heaviest float in parade history, the 125-foot monster featured real dogs surfing in a heated pool -- cowabunga!
Books Bring Us Together -- The UPS Store’s 42-foot-tall giraffe, which drew attention to the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, relied on hydraulics to bend the animal’s mammoth neck as the float ducked beneath power lines and overpasses.
Seven Oaks Farm Miniature Therapy Horses -- After the original herd became ill on the way from Ohio, six tiny horses trotted in their place, the favorite being a miniature pony with a pink mane and a unicorn horn.
A New Leaf -- Giant lizards were the creation of Cal Poly University and won the award for the Best Decorated Float by a Community or Organization.
Waves of Hope -- This beachside creation made entirely of flowers and other natural materials, featured a giant seagull and other seaside attractions and snagged Northwestern Mutual this year’s Best Animated Float award.
Echoes of Love -- The Bachelor’s tropical forest took the President’s Trophy for the Most Effective Use and Presentation.
The Cat’s Away -- The city of Sierra Madre wowed us with their Alice In Wonderland-inspired tea party.
Prosperity In the Wild -- Giant lions, cheetahs, and other animals leapt from the landscape of Western Asset Management Company’s Director Award-winning float.
January 1, the excitement returns to Colorado Boulevard for the 129th Tournament of Roses Parade. You can experience this once-in-a-lifetime tradition on one of five YMT Vacations Rose Parade itineraries. Each journey features a behind-the-scenes tour of the float building pavilions, admission to the Battle of the Bands and the Tournament of Roses dinner. Our guests also enjoy grandstand seating at an ideal location along the parade route, as well as convenient parking and guided assistance. For information, or to make your reservations, call your travel agent or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.