NC bands, floats stars of Rose Parade
Posted January 1, 2011
PASADENA, Calif. — North Carolina was well represented in Southern California's famous Rose Parade by two college marching bands, a company-sponsored float and a leading volunteer.
Flowered floats, ponies and princesses rolled down Colorado Boulevard in the 122nd Rose Parade, Presented by Honda, on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Calif.
Many braved overnight temperatures in the 40s to claim prime viewing spots along the 5½- mile parade route, which was expected to be lined with as many as 700,000 spectators.
"It was cold but well worth it," said Mark Tarango, of Bakersfield, Calif., who brought his children to the parade for the first time. "You get to appreciate it more in person. You miss the details, the smells, the festive atmosphere on television."
Marching bands from both North Carolina Central University and Western Carolina University marched in the parade.
NCCU fans hoping to watch The Marching Sound Machine may have been disappointed when network television cut away from the parade early. The band performed after 1 p.m., when the two hours of coverage shown on ABC and NBC ended.
The performance was included in parade coverage on two cable television stations, HGTV and The Hallmark Channel.
"It was disappointing for Triangle viewers, but doesn't take away from the experience the band members had at being on a big stage like that," said Robert Walter, a NCCU spokesperson.
Voss, N.C., residents Sid L. Scrugg and his wife, Judy, were the principal riders on the Lions Club float. Scruggs – a retired Navy pilot known as "The Flyin' Lion" – is president of Lions Clubs International, which does volunteer work in 206 countries.
RTP-based Bayer Advanced created an 55-foot-long float decorated wih 10,318 roses, along with orchids, daises and carnations. The float "Camelot" is based around the legendary court of King Arthur and celebrates the beauty, goodness and happiness that roses inspire.
Gerilyn Freedman, of Woodland Hills, Calif., said that for the last 10 years she has gotten to bed early on New Year's Eve so she could get up early to admire the floats before the throngs arrive.
"I feel like a kid the night before. I get so excited about the parade that I can't wait to get up," Freedman said.
Other floats include one called "Donate Life" which will hold some 30 organ transplant recipients and "florographs" — images rendered in natural materials — of some of their donors.
Food Network star and popular cookbook author Paula Deen is grand marshal, and Evanne Elizabeth Friedmann, 17, of La Canada, is queen of the parade themed "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories."
Later in the day, unbeaten Texas Christian University will take on Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl game.