Rose Parade 2013: Competition among overnight campers for best view
As two men donning USC jackets and hats surveyed the sidewalk looking for a place to set down their lawn chairs, Peter Soto eyed the competition.
"Those are the early ones, they're starting to move in now," said Soto, 46, of Los Angeles. "We try to hold our ground as long as we can."
Hours before the 124th annual Tournament of Roses parade was set to begin, a different kind of competition was already taking place; a battle between overnight campers like Soto and his friends and family, and the rest who descend on Pasadena as the city slowly awakes from its slumber.
Bundled in an Alhambra High School hoodie and wearing Oakland Raiders gloves, Soto and his cousin began to make room on their 30-foot wide sidewalk encampment for another 40 friends and relatives en route.
"It's the kids who really want to do this," Soto said as his family peeked out from under their fleece blanket stretched across an air mattress on Colorado Boulevard.
The family outlined their territory with chairs and chalk marks. Within it, a propane-fueled space heater kept them warm and a gas stove set up when they arrived Monday at 8 a.m. kept them fed.
As the camps started to wake around them, Soto sat in a chair, eyeing the incoming crowds.
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-- Joseph Serna