Float decorators, fans prep for chilly Rose Parade

Heather Trax places dried flower peddles onto a "Leaning Tower of Piza" display for the Princess Cruises float in preparation for the Rose Parade, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. Volunteers and workers continue to work on the floats for the 126th Tournament of Roses Parade that take's place on New Year's Day. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — As Danelle Jacobs and a crew of volunteers decorated their Rose Parade float, strong winds from a blustery winter storm blew flowers into the air. The scaffolding bounced. Then the power went out.

For the first time in 30 years, the team decided to suspend decorating for the night.

“This was the worst we had seen,” she said.

A cold air mass moving into Southern California could make Thursday’s Rose Parade one of the coldest on record. Jacobs and other volunteers rushed to put the final roses and carnations in place Wednesday after halting operations the night before. And officials advised the thousands expected to line the streets to dress in layers and drink plenty of warm liquids as temperatures hover around freezing in the early morning hours.

The frigid weather did not stop dozens of people from lining up early Wednesday to claim spots along the parade route.

“We’re going to have a clear day and it’ll be cool and brisk, but I think people are just going to really enjoy the excitement of the Rose Parade,” said Richard Chinen, president of the 2015 Tournament of Roses.

The New Year’s Day parade will feature 39 floats highlighting historic figures, celebrities and popular culture around the theme “Inspiring Stories.” Cast members from “The Love Boat” will ride on a Princess Cruises float while stars from “The Bachelor” will appear on another.

World War II hero and former Olympian Louis Zamperini was named grand marshal of the parade last year. He died in July, so his son and daughter will marshal the parade in his place.

Zamperini is the subject of a best-selling book and the movie “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolie and now in theaters.

“He really is the embodiment of inspiring stories, and there was no way we were going to change that,” Chinen said.

The parade will be followed by the College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl game, where second-seeded Oregon will face third-seeded Florida State.

 

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