Whittier Daily News


  Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011
A visitor braves rainy weather to take photos of the Kiwanis International's 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade float entry "Children's Dreams" at the public viewing event held near Victory Park in Pasadena.

PASADENA - The 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade became history on New Year's Day, but its famous floral floats continued to draw "oohs" and "aahs" Sunday.

The 47 flower-covered masterpieces were on display at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards, where visitors were invited to take an up-close look. The floats are traditionally displayed to the public the day after the Rose Parade.

Despite chilly weather and afternoon showers, thousands flocked to admire and photograph the rolling artwork. Many in attendance were unable to attend Saturday's parade but watched it on television.

"They're smaller than what I thought they would be (from television)," said Rudy Aguilar of Downey, who came with his fiancee, Patricia Monzon, and his 7-year-old brother, Andrew.

"They're gorgeous," he added. "Very beautiful."

Aguilar and Monzon said they didn't mind the light showers that fell during their visit to Pasadena.

Loyal to their hometown, their favorite float was Downey's "A Stroll Down Memory Lane Float," while Andrew said he preferred Torrance's float, "Afternoon Tea with Friends," which featured a dragon standing more than 20 feet tall.

Holly Unger of Vista said after seeing the floats on television, they were more impressive in person.

"The colors are pretty amazing," she said.

Some aspects of the floats, such as their flowery aromas, can't be viewed on a screen.

"The textures, I think, are the

best part of it," Unger added.
Her favorite floats, she said, were the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs' "Underwater Fantasy," float, which featured a sea turtle and other underwater creatures, and Quickrete's "What America's Made Of" float, which depicted the classic tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf.

An audio tour guide was made available for download on iTunes so visitors could listen on their iPods as they strolled the grounds.

"It's amazing what they can do with just flowers and a little bit of organic materials," Michelle Higgins of Pacific Palisades said as she checked out the floats with her son Alexander Martinez, 9.

Higgins' favorites were Wells Fargo's "Opening Spectacular," and Cal Poly Universities whimsical "Galactic Expedition." Alexander said Torrance's dragon float was his favorite.

While Higgins said the event was enjoyable even despite the weather, "We probably would have stayed longer without the rain."

Floats of the 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade line the streets of Pasadena near Victory Park for public viewing in the rain.
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