Rose Parade 2013: Former princess brings daughters for 'tradition'
Keeping with tradition, Michelle Alexander brought her 2-1/2 year old and 4-month-old daughters to the Rose Parade.
The Pasadena resident has been coming to the parade since she was a little girl.
The family had made the 1.5-mile trek to the parade from their Pasadena home. Their daughters bundled up against the cold under layers of sweaters and blankets inside a double stroller.
"It's a huge tradition in Pasadena and I'm excited to bring my youngest daughter to her first parade," Alexander said. "Hopefully they'll be a Rose princess one day."
She might know a thing or two. While she wasn't a Rose princess, she was a princess for the Arcadia float in 1996.
"I was the bad princess though," she said with a laugh. "I took off the belt and picked some roses, that's not allowed."
"We're so lucky to live so close to such a worldwide event," Alexander said.
For years the flowers on the floats looked unreal to Rebecca Komensky from her television in New Jersey. The colors were bright and the arrangements intricate.
On New Year's Day, she got to see them up close -- well, as close as she could get, standing on a ledge peeking over the crowd that gathered on Orange Grove Boulevard.
"They look super-cool," the 22-year-old college student said. "But I didn't know it could get this cold in California. I packed like I was coming for summer."
The self-described "child at heart" wore a silver cardboard hat with the words "Happy New Year" on them and fake blue plastic glasses in the shape of stars.
She made the trip with friends five days ago and was surprised at how high the grandstands were.
"You just saw them get higher and higher," Komensky said. "It's like a build-up to this day."
More than anything, Komensky was captivated by the energy, something you can't get from a television.
"There's definitely a lot of new year's energy," Komensky said. "Starting new and looking forward to making new memories in 2013."
-- Adolfo Flores in Pasadena
Photo: The Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band prepares for the 2013 Rose Parade. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times