Never on a Sunday: Blooms in Parade

Every year, America holds its New Year Celebration in the form of the Tournament of Roses Parade, commonly known as the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. It is a festival of floats made of flowers, equestrians, marching bands and a college football game held on New Year’s Day. It is moved on the following Monday in case January 1 falls on a Sunday. This “Never on a Sunday” rule was enacted to avoid disturbing worship services when frightened horses pass by the local churches. Another reason was to avoid competition with the NFL.The parade, which started on January, 1, 1890, is produced by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. Thousands of people watch the parade in person and it is also broadcast in several television channels in the US. It is also seen by people from over 200 countries and territories. To add to the funds of the parade, the Rose Bowl college football was included in 1902.The parade’s route follows the Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena’s main road and a part of the then US 66. The neighbourhood streets are closed a day prior the parade to prepare for the numerous floats, equestrians, bands and other elements that will take part in the festivities.The flower-covered floats are the main spectacle of the Rose Parade. They were originally horse carriages decorated with flowers but were replaced by floats made by sponsoring communities. A rule for building the floats is: the whole exterior must be covered only using natural material (e.g. plants, flowers, nuts or vegetables).The president of the Tournament of Roses decides on the theme of the parade. For 2011 it will be Building Dreams, Friendships & Memories.

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