Rose Parade 2012: Viewers admire floats
Rose Parade-goers Virginia Miller, 55, and Veronica Baca, 56, visited the start of the parade route to admire and take pictures of floats still illuminated by floodlights early Monday morning.
The cousins have not seen each in 30 years and thought the parade would be a great opportunity to reconnect.
"What better way to unite?" said Baca, who traveled from Lubbock, Texas.
For Baca, the trip to Pasadena to attend the parade was a first.
“I've watched this on TV since I was little,” she said in awe of the towering floats. “You can feel the joy and dedication in the floats. You feel the love and beauty you can't see on TV."
Nearby, a float operator told onlookers that Natural Balance Pet Foods Inc. broke the Guinness World Record for the longest, heaviest float. Marked at 119 feet, 7 inches long, the apparatus has an 85-feet-long water tank that holds 6,600 gallons of water. It weighs a total of 138,000 pounds.
This is the fourth time the organization has traveled the 5 1/2-mile parade route. The last three years featured man’s best friend snowboarding, skimboarding and skateboarding.
Larry Firth, the float operator, said that even though the float is so long, the turns on the parade route should be "very easy.”
“We had harder turns getting here,” he said.
A group of men donning in Spanx and water backpacks took a breather after a run to the parade site. Kevin Klaus, 36, of San Gabriel said the childhood friends used to camp overnight at the Rose Parade when they were in high school. He said he will continue that tradition with his own family.
"I have kids and we will camp out at some point,” Klaus said. “It has to be done."
His 5-year-old daughter was eagerly waiting to become one of the campers.
Virginia Miller, who was hustling to see as many floats as possible before the parade started, lingered at the Natural Balance Pet Food exhibit for a while.
"I want to see the doggy surf,” she said. “The ability to train that doggie to surf. How many people can even get their dogs to pee at the right place?"
-- Rosanna Xia in Pasadena and Angel Jennings in Los Angeles
Photo: The American Honda "Sweet Dreams" float at the 123rd Rose Parade. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times