Spectacular floats win top Rose Parade honors

PASADENA, Calif. Many parade fans braved frigid overnight temperatures to stake out good spots along the route. Saturday was forecasted to be sunny but with temps dipping into the 50s - a welcomed change to a wet holiday season in SoCal.

Food Network star and beloved cookbook author Paula Deen was the grand marshal of the Rose Parade and La Canada teen Evanne Elizabeth Friedmann is queen of the parade themed, "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories."

Friedmann and her court waved to parade goers atop the Macy's float.

The parade included 46 floats, 22 marching bands and 22 equestrian units from around the world.

A float celebrating American state fairs by Discover Financial Service won the Grand Marshal's Award. The float was designed and built by Fiesta Floats.

A float from the City of Sierra Madre that temporary held up the parade after breaking down, won the Governor's Award for best depiction of life in California.

The float was towed down the parade by an Auto Club wrecker.

A float sponsored by the Quikrete Companies won the Bob Hope Award for humor. The float depicted the classic tale of the three little pigs.

A stand-out crowd pleaser was the float presented by Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods, where dogs rode wakeboards and dove into a heated swimming pool on a float that set records for being the heaviest-ever on the parade route.

The Theme Trophy went to "Donate Life" for its float exhorting people to give tissue transplants, echoing the parade's "Building Dreams" theme.

Other major award winners included:

  • The Sweepstakes Award for most-beautiful entry, to Dole for its float "Living Well In Paradise."

  • The President's Award for most-effective use of flowers, to the Alzheimers Association and Pfizer, for "It's Time To Face Alzheimer's."

  • The Queen's Award for most-effective use of flowers, to Cunard Line for "A Grand Celebration at Sea."

  • The Director's Award for outstanding artistic merit, to Kaiser Permanente for "Purrfectly Healthy."

  • The Mayor's Award for the best municipal float, to Beverly Hills for "Beverly Hills -- City of Dreams Come True."
The procession began near Orange Grove Boulevard and Ellis Street, then moved east along Colorado Boulevard and north on Sierra Madre Boulevard.

The floats will remain on display at Sierra Madre and Washington boulevards at the city's eastern edge through Sunday afternoon.

Later in the day unbeaten Texas Christian University will take on Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl game.

Stadium officials are encouraging the public to arrive early for the game, carpool or take the Metro Gold Line. Also, shuttle bus service from Parsons was to begin at 10 a.m.

Additional service will be provided on the Metro Gold Line from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. to accommodate people heading to Pasadena for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl. Trains will run about every seven or eight minutes.

According to Pasadena police, 45 people were arrested along the parade route overnight and early Saturday. Police said almost all of the arrests were for public intoxication.

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