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125th Rose Parade kicks off New Year with ‘Dreams Come True’ under sunny skies

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Floodlights along Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena splashed light in the darkness and gave a surreal glow to floats lining up before dawn to kick off the 6-mile Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014.

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The Public Storage float looked like it was ready for take off while the City of Downey’s float appeared regal as though it was momentarily taking center stage.

Pasadena’s annual showcase for the world was held for the 125th time under sunny skies and temperatures warming from a low in the upper 40s to the high 70s.

Dodgers broadcasting great Vin Scully, 86 years old, was Grand Marshal.

The one glitch in the festivities was a delay of about 25 minutes for a hurting float in what is normally just over a 2-hour event. The parade resumed after a tow truck came to the rescue.

Bands from as far away as Panama and floats from Indonesia added color to the spectacle that began in the late 1800s as a way for residents to market Pasadena to friends and relatives in the Midwest and northeast.

Today, the Rose Parade is among the events that generated as much as $475.4 million in revenue for the city and surrounding area in 2011, a 6 percent increase over 2010.

Michigan State fans gathered at the intersection of Hill and Colorado enjoyed booing the Standford float as much as they enjoyed applauding their own cheerleaders and band.

The City of Pasadena’s antique fire engine was a reminder of past achievements and a way to honor the 125th founding of the city’s fire department. One of the last floats with music legend Daryl Hall and his band playing “You Make My Dreams Come True” showed the work ethic of the pop-rock musician, his continued love for his craft, and appreciation of his fans.

The Rose Parade floats will be on display through January 2, 9am to 5pm along Sierra Madre Boulevard near Victory Park. Admission is $10.

Now that the parade is finished, planning for the 2015 Rose Parade will get started with initial meetings in January 2014 and the locally built floats can begin utilizing volunteers starting in the spring and summer.

Valued traditions are like time. They don’t stop. Instead, they keep enriching the lives of those who participate.

Visit the Tournament of Roses website for news and updates throughout the year.

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