In keeping with the “Melody of Life” theme for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade the city of South Pasadena is entering a float called “Three Little Birds”. Volunteers were busy decorating it in a huge tent on Friday and will continue over the weekend.
If you are interested in seeing the progress of the South Pasadena float as it is decorated you can park on Fair Oaks just north of the 110 freeway exit. There is a large sign on Fair Oaks showing the location.
A follow-up after the Rose Parade. The South Pasadena float was behind the big one that broke down and sadly, the “Three Little Birds” float did not show up on the TV broadcasts of the parade.
“Too much is just about right” at the amazing, annual Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside, about an hour or so east of L.A.
The hotel itself is beautiful, but the addition of dozens of animated characters around the building and an enormous fireworks display really pushes the Festival of Lights over the top.
Not wanting to drive out there after dark to see the fireworks, I went the day after the Festival began and discovered that the city of Riverside is a very charming place, filled with Victorian cottages, parks, interesting architecture, a museum, and even a statue of Mahatma Gandi in the downtown shopping plaza.
Don’t want to drive? You can reach Riverside on a Metro Link train (not the local neighborhood Metro Rail) from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. It takes a couple of hours on the train.
Launched 41 years ago as a send-up of the oh-so-serious Tournament of Roses parade, the #PasadenaDooDah parade has been wacky and chaotic from the start. The Briefcase Marching Band is probably the most famous entrant in those early Doo Dah days.
What struck me most as I watched in 2018 was the individual creativity — unlike the cosplay stuff that goes on at ComicCon and other similar events that Millennials adore, but are not very creative. Cosplay is just copying.
Okay. Enough of this rant. Now on to the Doo Dah parade for 2018. Oh, something happened when I was downloading my photos and I lost about 2/3rds of my photos including a couple of the Doo Dah Queen who, in the spirit of Lady Godiva, rode a white horse in the parade. Her skin-color body suit was decorated with strategically placed purple embellishments, so no shocking nudity. Other wore less revealing costumes.
Here, in no particular order, are a lot of other photos of the 2018 parade.
A close-up of the Cry Baby Buick art car. Damaged Barbies are the preferred decorative element.
There seemed to be fewer Day of the Dead altars this year in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. While they varied from massive works of art by professional artists to intimate memorial altars created by a family member, they all had one thing in common: masses of orange and yellow marigolds. Marigolds became part of this tradition because their vibrant colors were considered to be a signal–a signpost–to the dead of where to return to visit family members at the cemetery on November 1st, All Saints Day. This ancient festival in Mayan culture pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in Mexico. The timing of November 1st was a compromise between the old ways and the “new”.
I am breaking up the photos I took into three parts. This is part one. Tomorrow I will do the Political Day of the Dead altars including one very very surprising altar. And in the Third Part I’ll show you close-ups of what is actually included on the altars.