Tournament of Roses New Year's Day
Mira Mesa High School band at 2022 Rose Parade. Photo credit: Screen shot, Fox5 San Diego

The 133rd Tournament of Roses Parade made a colorful return to Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena Saturday, with two San Diego County bands joining in the fun.

The iconic New Year’s Day tradition was called off last year due to COVID-19.

“Dream. Believe. Achieve.” was the parade theme this year, a celebration of “education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives.”

Parade performers included the U.S. Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band, with musicians from Camp Pendleton, and Mira Mesa High’s “Sapphire Sound” Marching Band and Color Guard.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance took part as well, while the San Diego Humane Society served as standby volunteers for the equestrian units.

The UPS Store took top honors in the parade for the third time in the last four years, winning the 2022 Sweepstakes Trophy for its entry “Rise, Shine & Read!’ featuring a proud father rooster reading to his family of chicks on a 35-foot-tall, 55-foot-long animated float.

The festivities began at 8 a.m. with a performance by Grammy-winning singer LeAnn Rimes, featuring a remixed and re-mastered version of “Throw My Arms Around the World,” created specifically for the Pasadena celebration.

Many spectators along the 5 1/2-mile parade route staked out their spots overnight despite unseasonably low temperatures. In 2019, the event drew an estimated 700,000 people in person, while 37 million people watched television broadcasts.

Some Rose Parade traditions remain unchanged since the first parade in 1890. That includes the requirement that every inch of the 37 floats must be covered with flowers or other natural materials, such as leaves, seeds or bark. The most delicate flowers, including roses, were placed in individual vials of water, set into floats one by one.

This year’s grand marshal was Emmy-winning actor LeVar Burton, also a director and lifelong advocate of children’s literacy known to generations of children for his role as host of PBS’ “Reading Rainbow.”

The parade wrapped with a grand finale headlined by Grammy nominee Jimmie Allen and an appearance by the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute team. Following the landing of the Golden Knights, Allen performed his hit song “Good Times Roll,” accompanied by his four-piece band.

The parade precedes the 108th Rose Bowl, where Ohio State will take the field against Utah, in the latter team’s first appearance in the New Year’s Day game.

The parade’s floats will be on display at Floatfest Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday along a two-mile route at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards. Visitors are advised to carry clear bags to make it through security quickly.

– City News Service