The Singpoli float titled "Connecting Cultures, Delivering Dreams" won the "Extraordinaire Award" at the 125th Rose Parade. The parade, themed "Dreams Come True", kicked off in Pasadena on January 1, attracting worldwide attention. Photo: Yu Yan
The 125th annual Rose Parade kicked off in Pasadena on January 1 as people thronged the streets for one of the world's largest New Year's Day celebrations. Singpoli's float made its spectacular appearance and won the Extraordinaire award.
Parade watchers began lining the streets late Monday afternoon to grab prime viewing spots for the 48 floats, 20 marching bands and 16 equestrian units that participated in this year's "Dreams Come True" theme, CBS LA reported.
Los Angeles Dodgers longtime broadcaster Vin Scully, the parade's grand marshal, kicked off the show after six F-16s from the Air Force's Thunderbirds roared overhead, said AP.
Over two dozen floats among this year's crop won recognition, including the Sweeptakes award going to Dole's "Sunrise at the Oasis" float, the Theme award going to Donate Life's "Light Up the World" float, and the Governor's award going to the city of Glendale's "Let's Be Neighbors" float.
The float of Singpoli Group, titled "Connecting Cultures, Delivering Dreams" and decorated with a pagoda and two winged horses, was the 20th to appear at the parade. The beautiful Chinese-style float, adorned with orchids and roses, showed a good combination of Chinese and American cultures and won the Extraordinaire trophy for being the most spectacular float.
The China Airlines float, titled "Taiwan Dreams Rising", won the International trophy.
This year's parade was highlighted by its first gay wedding ceremony. A gay LA couple, Danny Leclair, 45, and Aubrey Loots, 42, exchanged wedding vows atop a float as part of the nationally televised Rose Parade, capping a momentous year for same-sex marriage in the US, said Reuters.
The parade was "pleased", KPCC reported, to have the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) participate. It is the organization's third entry in three years tied to their mission of delivering medical services and advocacy in fighting AIDS worldwide. AHF's float, "Love Is The Best Protection," won a trophy for best presentation of color and color harmony through floral use.
Two Chinese Americans, Jamie Ann Kwong and Elissia Widjaja, who won the Rose Princess titles in October, also joined the parade, together with the Rose Queen and other members of the Royal Court.
The parade was witnessed by an estimated 700,000 spectators who lined the 5 1/2 mile procession route and by millions of viewers tuning into one of several networks carrying the event live in the US and broadcasting it around the world. The parade was also live-streamed over the Internet, Reuters reported.