Rose Parade: New Year’s spirit of renewal

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    Thousands lined up to welcome the New Year through the vivid display of the 123rd annual Rose Parade tournament in Pasadena, California.

    This year’s theme, “Just Imagine,” featured dozens of petal-covered floats, exuberant marching bands and more than 300 colorfully decked-out horses and riders, the L.A Timesreports.  An estimated 900,000 people lined the 5 1/2-mile route, which is actually fewer than in previous years because of the weekday timing.

    Members of Wells Fargo theme float “Just Imagine…” moves along Orange Grove Boulevard during the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

    There were notable designers including internationally acclaimed Raul Rodriguez who celebrated his 500th float with an impressive design titled, “Wonderful Indonesia.

    His design is a two-unit float that features a Sumatran princess in a gesture of a traditional welcome dance, and a stately Garuda, the mythical bird-like creature that is Indonesia’s national symbol, Reuters reports.

    Indonesian officials presented Rodriguez with a ceremonial keris (Indonesian sword) on Dec. 28 naming him a “Goodwill Ambassador for Indonesia” and a traditional outfit from Sumatra, according to Reuters.

    Rodriguez created his first Rose Parade float when he was 15, while winning more awards than any other designer in the parade.

    Yet, not everyone jeered in a spirit of renewal. There were reports that hundreds of Occupy protesters marched down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, while lining up behind police squad cars, tow trucks and the last official float to carry their message of economic inequality.

    Read it at L.A. Times and check out the full list of winners at CBS Los Angeles

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