Sunshine lifts spirits in Pasadena

Rose Parade the ride of a lifetime for La Cañada's Queen Evanne Friedmann, Royal Court and local float-building faithful.

January 01, 2011|By Joe Piasecki,
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

A wet and windy December capped with bone-chilling cold on New Year's Eve was all but a memory by the time festivities got underway Saturday morning for La Cañada Flintridge contingent of Rose Parade royalty, volunteer float builders and their boosters on the bleachers.

Clouds parted and the sun shone brilliantly in the sky above Pasadena just in time for the 8:03 a.m. commencement of the 122nd annual Tournament of Roses Parade — a fast-paced kaleidoscope of artistry and showmanship complete with 47 dazzlingly colorful floats, 22 marching bands and several equestrian teams that all whizzed by in about two hours behind celebrity chef and parade Grand Marshal Paula Deen.

Minutes before the parade's start, the warmth of daybreak was a welcome blessing for those on the Macy's Royal Court float, including La Cañada resident and Rose Queen Evanne Friedmann, Princess Katie Thomson and Princess Jessica Montoya, who was shivering as the royal float gently started on its way from the Tournament House to the crowds waiting along Colorado Boulevard.


"Our adrenaline is keeping us warm. Riding down Colorado Boulevard is going to be the coolest thing I've ever done," said Friedmann, 17, a senior at La Cañada High School who was all smiles as the big moment approached.

"This is going to be the ride of my life. I can't wait to see my friends and family and give them my big princess wave," said Thomson, a Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy student.

"It's unbelievable!" added bone-chilled Montoya, a senior at Flintridge Preparatory School. "Our excitement is definitely pushing us through."

For members of the Rose Court, New Year's Day starts at 1:30 a.m. said Friedmann, who prepped for the big day with a 2:15 a.m. spa session, climbed into a makeup chair at Tournament House around 4 a.m. and greeted sunrise doing television interviews.

Toward the back of the parade queue a few blocks south on Orange Grove Boulevard, excitement was also reaching its crescendo for crew members of this year's La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association float — a whimsical portrayal of a children's playground being built by cheery hydraulic-motion construction machines that was titled "3-2-1 Dig!" and played off the parade's theme, "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories."

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