Tomorrow at this time, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade will be in full swing down the 5.5 mile route mostly on Colorado Boulevard.
And today, a rarity.
I do not have to work today.
Thus I avoid the throngs of the crazy people as I call those that, as I type, are beginning the world's largest camp out along the aforementioned Colorado Blvd.
No, they are not really crazy people. For the most part. As up to 1,000,000 congregate along a main drag in a city of about 150,000, the amazing fact is that this parade, and later the Rose Bowl game, goes off with little trouble.
But what is happening now is several-fold.
As mentioned, although law enforcement says people can not do this until 12 noon today, hundreds are already staking out territory along the boulevard. There is where later on, family and or friends will meet them. Then the party begins. People have some rather elaborate setups. And blankets and sleeping bags line the sidewalks. Along with all kinds of cooking stuff. Little barbecues, big ones, smokers. You name it, it is out there.
Folks, this is what you do not see as you watch this parade in such places as Fargo, North Dakota, wishing that you were here where you can go out of your abode in shorts on January 1.
Except this year.
As I type this at a little past 10am, the temperature is 47 degrees.
While that is going on, thousands of volunteers are hurrying to finish the many floats that will be along the parade route. It is a painstaking job as the floats, while not completely covered in roses, are covered in all kinds of natural materials such as bark and the like. I have never participated in helping get the floats ready, but Mrs. RVFTLC has and said it was fun but a lot of work.
And for the Tournament of Roses committee, this is a year-round effort.
It takes a lot of coordination between governments, police, fire, sheriffs and the California Highway patrol. It is the only time of year the Chippies do some real police work rather than harassing motorists. Just kidding. Sort of.
And tomorrow, by evening the tons o' trash will be cleaned up and my Monday morning, no one will be able to tell that the world's biggest party took place just a couple of days before.
Tomorrow I will trek down the block from the abode and do what I do every year. Watch an amazing parade, take some photos, meet some people and have a really great way to ring in the new year.
And with that, I want to wish all a safe, happy, prosperous and great 2011.
In other words,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!