As a young Katye, New Year’s meant two things: staying up late and watching the ball drop and waking up early to watch the tournament of rose’s parade. Oh how I loved that parade! Not only did I want to go to the parade, I wanted to be in the parade! Year after year I would watch as kids from the YMCA, the boy scouts, and some New Mexico equestrian club would ride on floats in fab Native American costumes. Being 100% Caucasian, a girl, and not in any clubs I was limited in my float riding qualifying options. I was also never in a marching band, couldn’t play any instruments, and am terrified of horses (that’s a blog in itself).
Every year my dad would see me and the sibs watching the parade and announce that we would go next year. We never went. In fact, I was at my parent’s house yesterday watching the parade with Sarah and sure enough dad announced that we would go to the parade next year. I was less than enthused. You see, I finally had the chance to go to the Rose Parade five or six years ago and frankly, it sucked. Looking back, if we had fancy bleacher seats and descent parking and some coffee it probably would have elated my inner child. But in the spirit of spontaneity it was about as much fun as sitting next to an arm rest hog on an international flight…
So that New Year’s Eve was spent in downtown Pasadena boozing-it-up on Colorado Blvd and at Brianna’s janky apartment. Bri and I decided that night that before going home to Thousand Oaks we might as well get up early and watch the parade. Somehow between too much sugar, rum, and delirium we decided that this was an excellent idea. Now the people who get good free spots at the parade start camping out as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve but we weren’t that smart. Hung-over and sleep-deprived, we rolled up to Colorado Blvd about an hour before the parade started and spent a good half hour trying to find parking. Of course, we didn’t have chairs, snacks, or water and finally found a spot at the very end of the parade. Our spot was leaning up against a fence attached to the last set of bleachers. It sucked. The floats were less visible, it reeked of bratwurst and trash, and my Ralph Lauren “Jenny from the Block” puffy jacket got ripped on the fence, feathers everywhere. I looked like a molting bum and felt like shit.
As a freshman in high school, a friend’s mom took about 4 or 5 of us down to decorate the floats a few days before the actual parade. Now when you see the ktla coverage of the families decorating the floats you only see the fun parts, actually decorating the floats. When we kids got to the warehouse we were divided into groups, those over 15, like my brother, got to go inside and climb up beams to scatter seeds and feathers on various large mushrooms and Bank of America signs. They all knew which floats they helped to decorate and potentially point at with pride during the live coverage. My awesome group spent several hours cutting and de-stemming roses and placing them into viles all while inside a makeshift tent in December. Okay, maybe this is why I am not a fan of roses? If you like me and want me to like you, seriously never buy me a bouquet of roses with baby’s breath, unless it’s my quinceanera or April fools day. So my dad really does want to buy swanky bleacher seats to next year’s parade, I’m not holding my breath. Don’t worry, I have no immediate plans to arch up and down Colorado Blvd with a sign that blares,” Suck-it Rose Parade”…At this point, I would just rather go to the Rose Bowl. Fight on.