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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

By Dennis J. Freeman


PASADENA—It was a sight for sore eyes. Floats slowly making their way down Colorado Boulevard. Marching bands brought the thunder with their music as the color guard teams swung flags and pranced.

People lined up the streets waiting and anticipating something that they missed out on January 1, 2021. It was great to see the 133rd Rose Parade come to fruition.

After putting the pause button on the annual New Year’s Day parade last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tournament of Roses officials were determined to see this year’s Rose Parade would go through.

And this year’s parade was met with its own set of challenges as a new variant of the original strain of Covid-19 has brought a new surge in cases all across Los Angeles County and the rest of the country.

But the Rose Parade pushed through. Even rain threatened to dampen the day as the Southland was dripping with wet weather from days of showers. That did not happen and Southern California worked up to a lovely and sunny day. That meant everything was a go for parade officials.

Though the in-person crowd was a lot smaller than it normally is, the 2022 Rose Parade was just as glamorous and worth watching. This year’s Rose Parade presented by Honda ran with the theme of Dream. Believe. Achieve.

The grand marshal for the parade was actor and philanthropist and literacy enthusiast Levar Burton, who ran a little late and had to be whisked to his motorcade as the parade got underway.

When it comes to the Rose Parade Royal Court, Rose Queen Nadia Chung reigned supreme in her white gown. The rest of the Royal Court (McKenzie Street, Jaeda Walden, Ava Feldman, Abigail Griffith, Jeannie Briggs, and Swetha Somasundaram

graced our presence dressed in royal or dark blue gowns.

They were absolutely stunning to look upon as the Rose float made its way down Colorado Boulevard. When it comes to celebrities, the Rose Parade has always had its fair share.

This year’s parade was no different with multi-platinum and Grammy-winning singer LeAnn Rimes kicking things off with an opening number and Grammy-nominated Jimmie Allen wrapping things up.

Sandwiched in between the opening and closing numbers, there seemed to be a good deal of marching bands performing.

Among some of the more notable bands performing at the Rose Parade included the Bands of America Honor Band, the Downingtown High School Blue & Gold Marching Band, the Georgia State University Panther Band, Los Angeles Unified School District All District High School Honor Band, Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band, The Band Directors Marching Band, Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands, Mira Mesa High School “Sapphire Sound” Marching Band and Color Guard, and the United States Marine Corps West Coast Composite Band.

The Rose Parade would not be what it is today without the floats being an integral part of it. There were plenty of good ones lined up.

Among the more distinctive floats were Louisiana Travel (Sweepstakes Award), Donate Life (Extraordinaire Award), City of Torrance (Princess Award), Reese’s University (Bob Hope Humor Award), Trader Joe’s (Americana Award), The Masked Singer (Isabella Coleman Award), China Airlines (International Award), and Kaiser Permanente (Theme Award).