Well, this year I had the chance to see it for myself. The family and I traveled to the L.A. area, and on January 1st, we hopped on the first of several metro trains to make our way to Pasadena for the parade. There were a million people there to watch it in person. That's not a typo. One million. That's a quarter of the entire population of New Mexico, all of them present along a five mile corridor to watch this parade. Why do so many people turn out?
|Bands are better with bagpipes|
|My favorite float|
|KC singing "Get Down Tonight"|
The parade is like a huge, post-midnight New Year's celebration. A lady in front of us wore a one-piece Chicago Bears PJ set with the words 'Bear Bum' on the rear flap, and a Bears hat, and a little New Year's fascinator hat on top of that. Others wore similar get-ups. But everybody wore a smile, and hope for the new year.
|A million people trying to leave Pasadena|
And then there's the part they never show on TV. The post parade, where people come through with their homemade signs and floats and costumes, mostly showing political ads like "We're felons" on a background that looks remarkably like Wells Fargo, or the guy holding a "Wake Up" sign upside down (he should've had some coffee). Looks like someone should have taken his own advice. Or the guys holding Jesus signs and wearing loudspeakers and proclaiming gloom and doom and how everybody is going to hell. One of them ended up at our line into the metro. Captive audience, and all that. After they passed, everybody climbed down from the bleachers and followed the parade route. There were bits of asparagus and rose petals on the ground. There are tons of people waiting to lead tours.
The parade lasts two hours, and yet it felt like it flew by. It is just that much fun. I will definitely go back one of these days.