Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Rose Parade, by Evelyn Watson

Parades were never much of a big deal for me, even the world famous Rose Parade on New Year’s Day didn’t much thrill me, except it was special time with my dad. Dad loved the Rose parade and looked forward to it each year.

Just he and I went; mother wasn’t really able to endure the long day of standing and, like me, I don’t think she relished parades much either. She never said that, but I never got the impression she felt she was missing anything by not being able to go.

We never sat in bleachers or camped out on the streets as is done today. In fact we didn’t leave the house until about time for the parade to start. We didn’t pack a lunch or take anything with us except dad’s camera and film.

I don’t remember any of the details of where we parked or where we were positioned to watch the parade, but we never had any traffic or parking difficulties. We heard and saw everything without difficulty being able to view the floats and bands up close as they passed by.

Dad was in his glory and took lots of pictures with his slide camera delighting in showing slides to family and friends afterward. I’m sure they had all watched the parade on television and seen the floats, but dad enjoyed this tradition and no one ever refused looking at them.

After all these years I still have those slides. Dad was so proud to show his slides and brag about going to the parade without the hassle of traffic or parking problems. How we did that I can’t imagine and the fact that we never had anyone ask to go with us seems strange because it seems everybody is thrilled by the Rose parade except me.

I don’t bother to watch the parade on New Year’s Day. To me it is boring. That is not to say the floats aren’t beautiful and clever, because they are. You marvel as to how they were able to create them.

A few years ago we went with friends a day or two after the parade to where the floats are taken for viewing. I was not happy being charged to view them and as beautiful as they were I grew bored and tired before we finished.

But I’ll never forget dad’s love for the Rose parade. It was probably the thing he looked forward to the most.


  1. Evelyn, this is not at all the story I expected as I began to read it. I think it's great, though, that you could take an event that you found tedious and turn it into a special memory because it mattered to someone you care about.

  2. I thought that I was the only American who finds parades "Boring!" I did like how you shared the time with your dad. You had your dad all to yourself. Maybe he enjoyed the parade more because YOU were there with him.

  3. From Ginger:

    For Evelyn,
    Written with clarity. I agree with your sentiments.

  4. Loved your story Evelyn,

    Unlike you I love the Rose Parade. Mind you I wouldn't camp out to watch it but we always watch it on TV. I quess I love it so much because growing up in poverty in Ireland, we never had such luxuries - the beautifully uniformed marching bands and the extravagance of the millions of fresh flowers (only to be thrown away) never cease to thrill me. This is really America for me - full of energy, enthusiasm and money no object to put on a great show.