January 1, 2007 at 10:18 PMHappy New Year to Violinist.com members and readers all around the globe!
Since the Violinist.com world headquarters (aka my desk) are located in Pasadena, California, I'd be remiss if I didn't give you a little first-hand account of the annual Rose Parade, a longstanding New Year's morning tradition here in the United States. The Parade had bands, floats and other marchers from all over the world, including Veracruz, Mexico; New South Wales, Australia; Taiwan; Oklahoma; Kingwood, Texas; Pulaski, Wisconsin; Butler, Pennsylvania; Kingsport, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Fayetteville, Georgia; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Waukesha, Wisconsin; Glendale, Arizona; and Honolulu, Hawaii.
It happens to occur just three blocks from our house, so we simply walk up to the street and join some friends, who have annually taken measures to reserve a very specific patch of pavement for some 25 years. As soon as we saw the parade starting on T.V. and heard the stealth bomber flying over our house, we knew it was time to head out. The parade actually takes about two hours to arrive at our spot near the end of the route, which is a staggering five and a half miles.
I say staggering because that is what many people are doing by the time they reach us. Note the tired expressions of these band members:
They actually played us something, but some bands can barely play any more after so much marching, and no doubt they are boiling hot in those uniforms, and rather thirsty. Observe the man running water to marchers in the Michigan band!
Even some of the floats are tired; those bird houses for the City of Los Angeles float used to be all standing up, but they had to put them down to go under the highway, and they never put them back up afterwards.
But some still look awesome, like this float for American Honda, which had two dragons with moving heads, hissing at one another.
And some of the marchers are still in good form, like these dancers with the Marching Band of the General Secondaria Escuela No. 5 from Xalpa, Veracruz, Mexico.
My favorite band, though, was the Oklahoma All-Star Centennial Band, which stopped in front of us, then broke ranks and ran to the side, shaking our hands, smiling and saying, “Happy New Year!” We offered them our box of donuts, and several members gladly took a few, downing them hungrily in the several seconds before they marched on.
Happy New Year!
(Read Robert's account on his website, too!)
The water bow better watch out! lol. I know marching band people in big compeitions/parades. They won't stop for anything!
And speaking of which, yes, I would have worn the V.commie T-shirt if only it had been about 15 degrees warmer! Gonna have to work on the V.com parka....
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Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles is in New York to cover the biennial event at The Juilliard School, including classes by Brian Lewis and Sarah Chang.
Laurie Niles is from Pasadena, California. Biography
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