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20 don’t-you-dare-miss-it 2020 Rose Parade moments to watch for (and one ‘no drone’ warning)

There’s what you’ll see — and what you hopefully won’t see — during Wednesday’s 2020 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Case in point: Drones.

The FBI on Tuesday issued a reminder to the public that the air space above Wednesday’s Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl is a “No Drone Zone,” calling for all drone enthusiasts to leave the mechanical flying camera critters at home for this event, citing the need for “safety of attendees.”

The Pasadena Police Department, which is leading security efforts on Wednesday, along with the FBI, will enforce federal laws covering unmanned aircraft, according to the FBI.

Anyone who does attempt to fly a drone stands a good chance of being arrestes, prosecuted, fined and/or imprisoned, according to the FBI.

You also hopefully won’t have any surprises like last year, when the Chinese American Heritage Foundation’s “Harmony Through Union” stopped moving and smoke began erupting from it just before bend in the road where Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards meet.

The Salvation Army Band performs during the 40th Annual Rose Parade Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Monday December 30, 2019. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)

Chinese American Heritage Foundation’s “Harmony Through Union” stopped moving and smoke began erupting from it just before bend in the road where Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards meet. It didn’t help that the first tow truck that attempted to move the float failed, and a second truck was needed to take the float to the end of the route. It wasn’t pretty.

But this year, parade officials put together new safety protocols and procedures float builders had to abide by to prevent another float fire. An investigation concluded the fire was most likely caused by an accidental discharge of transmission fluid onto the float’s exhaust pipe. The Tournament of Roses now requires float builders to install fire suppression measures similar to ones on buses, dispersing fire retardant powder in the event engines overheat, as well as fire barriers protecting driver compartments, Eads said.

OK. Now, for the fun stuff that hopefully you will see.

Maybe you’re cozied up on the couch in your pjs with the TV on and a cup of joe or hot chocolate in reach. Maybe you’re bundled up on Colorado Boulevard, your face cool in the crisp morning Pasadena air.

Either way, we have a few suggestions on what to watch for in this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade. First off, note that this year’s parade theme is “The Power of Hope.”

So, fueled by that theme, organizers have created a parade event that really takes hold of the idea of rising up from adversity and tragedy but also mixed that with themes of healing and optimism as the decade kicks off. In that sense, all of the entries have a story to tell, and represent a part of the overall theme.

But, since there are 90 entries, and we’ve only got so many inches here — and a deadline — here are 20 or so moments to keep an eye on as you watch the 131st Rose Parade with that warm drink in your grasp. We tagged a number to the end, so you’ll see where it comes in the parade lineup. You can find all the acts listed in order here. 

Christie Prades is Gloria Estefan and Mauricio Martinez is Emilio Estefan in the national tour of “On Your Feet!” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)


Rose Parade Opening Spectacular. Look for Ally Brooke, Emilio Estefan, Farruko and the Chino Hills High School Drumline (Parade Entry #1)


B-2 Spirit Flyover. The sight of that thing flying overhead as the event begins is just hard to ignore. Frankly, TV doesn’t do it justice. But you just gotta watch it. It sets quite the tone for the parade march — assuming you still have your hearing. (#2)

The 2020 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshals, L to R, Laurie Hernandez, Rita Moreno and Gina Torres in front of the Pasadena Tournament house where they were announced in a ceremony by tournament president Laura Farber in Pasadena, CA Tuesday, October 15, 2019. The theme for this year’s parade is “The Power of Hope”. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)


The grand marshals. It’s hard not to root for Rita Moreno and her co-grand marshals, Gina Torres and Laurie Hernandez. All represent generations of Latin American women who have climbed their own heights in stage and sport, and have inspired others in their journey. (#11)

Rose Mendoza, 6, fourth from right, along with her sister, 7½ year-old Cecilla Mendoza pose for a picture with Rose Queen Camille Kennedy and the Royal Court as she is crowned princess for the day to fulfill Rose’s Make-A-Wish dream. (Photo by Keith Birmingham)


The Royal Court. How will Rose Queen Camille Kennedy and her court of Pasadena-area princesses stay warm for 5.5 miles? (#24)

The Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band performs before the 40th Annual Rose Parade Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Monday December 30, 2019. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)


Pasadena City College Tournament of Roses Honor Band. Four musicians from Saugus High, who endured the trauma of the Nov. 14 fatal shootings on campus, were chosen to appear with this band. They called the experience a great honor and a great boost to their ability to cope with the tragedy.  (#25)

Volunteers work on ‘Years of Hope. Years of Courage,” on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.


“Years of Hope. Years of Courage.” This is a really unique chance to be up close with a landmark moment — and history. This float pays homage to the struggle for women’s suffrage, celebrating 100 years of women voting. Riding on it will be civil rights giants and descendants of giants such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas. (#26)


Rose Bowl floats and bands. What would the parade be without a little pre-Rose Bowl fun — like a massive pep rally for Oregon and Wisconsin. Keep an eye out for Rose Bowl Game floats and bands. (#28, 29, 38 and 39)

Banda Municipal de Zarcero (Photo courtesy Tournament of Roses)


Banda Municipal de Zarcero. Watching the marching bands live can be mesmerizing. They’re coming from all regions of the U.S. — from Pasadena to Mississippi. And from the world — from the Japan Honor Green Band to the Elsinore Girls Marching Band from Denmark. We recommend them all, but keep an eye — and an ear — out for this one, Banda, from Costa Rica. (#41)


Halftime! LADIES and GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS, HORSES AND SNOWMEN! A mid-parade performance of Disney’s “Frozen.” Let it gooooo! (#48)


Mid-America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team. The Rose Parade equestrian units are always a treat. They’ll all rock this year. The Cowgirls did just that (rocked it, that is) at the nearby Equestfest at the LA Equestrian Center in Burbank. (#55)


Mini-Therapy horses. All together now: Awwwwww. Make sure the kids see this group. (#59)

Express Clydesdales perform during the Equestfest event at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank on Sunday, Dec 29, 2019. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Contributing Photographer)


Budweiser Clydesdales. Make sure the kids see this one, too. And they’re harder to miss!  (#63)

The Banda El Salvador performs during the 40th Annual Rose Parade Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Monday December 30, 2019. (Photo by Keith Durflinger, Contributing Photographer)


Banda El Salvador: Grando Como Su Gente. That name translates roughly as “band as big as its people.” Rose Princess Mia Thorsen, whose family has roots in El Salvador, got to spend the day with performers from this band at Bandfest on Monday.  (#77)


The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses band.  It’s marched in the event for 100 years. (#83)

Volunteers decorate the City of Hope float at Phoenix Decorating Co. in Irwindale, CA. (Photo by Dean Musgrove, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)


City of Hope  and Donate Life floats. Stories of survival and sacrifice on these.  (#83 and #84)


Closing show: “Where Flowers and Football meet!” When Los Lobos performs, good things happen (#90).

The parade begins at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning. But you knew that. It’ll be televised live. 

You’re invited to keep up with us on Twitter, from our reporters in the field Wednesday @PasStarNews. And for tons more Rose coverage, read here.

Source: Orange County Register

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