Rose Parade's floats come to life in California after pandemic pause | Inquirer News
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Rose Parade’s floats come to life in California after pandemic pause

/ 10:52 AM December 31, 2021
rose parade

The Banda Municipal de Zarcero from Costa Rica performs during the 131st Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2020. AFP FILE PHOTO

PASADENA, California — Inside a massive barn in Pasadena, California, hundreds of volunteers are meticulously painting, gluing, snipping and arranging thousands of flowers for the return of the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

The preparations are in the final stretch for 43 floats that will participate in the 2022 parade, which was canceled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Aida Bueno, a volunteer from Pico Rivera, California, said it’s been incredible to watch the floats come to life.

“It looks kind of plain and ugly in the beginning, but once you start adding everything from lentils to rice to onion seeds to pumpkin seeds to roses, it makes it literally look like art and it’s beautiful,” she said.

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This year marks the 133rd anniversary of the Rose Parade, which takes a 5.5-mile (8.85km) route from Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena and ends at Villa Street. The parade precedes the Rose Bowl Game, which features a traditional matchup of football teams from the Big Ten and the Pac-12 collegiate athletic conferences.

The parade comes amid a rising tide of COVID-19 cases https://www.reuters.com/world/us/experts-warn-omicron-blizzard-disrupt-us-next-month-2021-12-30 caused by the Omicron variant, which U.S health officials on Thursday warned would threaten major disruptions across the United States.

For the second day in a row, the U.S. has had a record number of new cases based on the seven-day average, with more than 290,000 new infections reported each day, a Reuters tally showed.

To work within the pandemic, parade organizers required participants to either provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests within a 72-hour window. All ticketholders for the parade must wear a mask as well.

Most parade participants, 91%, have been vaccinated, said David Eads, executive director and chief executive of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. Organizers have also limited the number of volunteers working at any time to minimize the risk of transmission.

Elsewhere in the barn, volunteers are keeping their heads down, focusing on putting on those finishing touches.

“It’s a huge production, I had no idea,” said volunteer Danica Childs, from Pasadena, California.

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TAGS: California, COVID-19, Health, Pasadena, Rose Parade
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