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Annual ritual unfolds along the Rose Parade route

December 31, 2009 |  7:01 pm

Rose parade scene
The annual run-up to the Rose Parade unfolded today like a finely tuned ritual along Colorado Boulevard and inside cavernous float-decorating venues.

Tourists arranged sleepovers along the five-mile Rose Parade route; and cheery, glue-stained volunteers feverishly applied finishing touches to the parade’s 41 floats. 

Kathy Shanahan, 55, of Yorba Linda spent the day like scores of others: decorating floats. Her assignment included pasting pink gerbera daisies on the edge of the Cal Poly float, which features a tropical scene.

Meanwhile, parade watchers staked out spots with masking tape, folding chairs and blankets, turning the sidewalk into a makeshift living room.

Some, like Ravee Von Ins, displayed decorating ingenuity as they prepared for the cold, overnight wait. The Palmdale resident set her portable picnic table with a silk rose, bulb ornaments and a small, fake Christmas tree.

“I’m not done yet,” she said, gesturing to a swath of real estate that included a camp stove, folding table and stack of plastic bins. “This evening, it will look very sharp.”

Like many on the route, Von Ins has made the New Year’s Eve sleepover a tradition for decades.

“I meet people here,” the Palmdale resident said, “and I stay connected to them.”

As a car passed, she turned around and shouted: “Happy New Year!”

--Cara Mia DiMassa and Nicole Santa Cruz 

Photo: Andrew Ayala, 4, right, and his sister Giselle, 2, make themselves at home on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena as they wait for the Rose Parade to pass their way New Year's morning.

Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times