A new year and a great parade

Young man is unimpressed with a marching band

Occupy Rose Parade

They say that when the world watches the Rose Parade and game on TV, California’s population spikes soon thereafter. Some just can’t resist the lure of the stunningly beautiful weather that graces us every year at about this time. Unable to find any statistics on this spike, I am left to think it may be just some urban myth I’ve always believed. But when the nations’s greatest parade takes place in 80 degree weather, it is certainly a plausible myth.

Today’s parade was not on New Year’s Day because there is a longstanding tradition that the if January 1 falls on a Sunday, the Tournament of Roses Parade takes place on the next day. The tradition originated in the 19th century so as to avoid scaring the many horses tethered outside churches along the parade route. The Rose Bowl game also moves to January 2 when the 1st is on a Sunday but that is to avoid competing with the NFL — not quite as interesting a tradition as the parade’s.

Occupy was at the parade but did not interfere with it. Some griped at them and others cheered their presence. The occupiers were lawful and respectful and there were no incidents reported.

The L.A. Times has a great photo gallery of the parade, two of which are shown above and were shot by the excellent photographer Allen J. Schaben. The rest of the Times gallery is here.

And if you are from somewhere else other than Southern California and the views of beautiful Southern California entice you — please come visit and stay. In spite of what you may hear, there is still plenty of room for you.

Happy 2012.

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