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Rose Parade attracts some 'dragons'

By RENA LI in Los Angeles | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-01-03 12:27

The inspiration for the Dragon Music float of Alhambra, California, came from Shannon Tan, 13. The floatwas in the Rose Parade 2024 in Pasadena, California, on Monday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, also drew in some dragons — on a float, that is.

The Rose Parade has been a New Year's Day American tradition since the 1800s. It unwinds before the Rose Bowl college football game, which this year featured a thrilling playoff game at the Rose Bowl stadium Monday in which the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide, 27-20, in overtime in one of the most watched games in history.

A total of 39 floats took part in this year's parade — the 135th — and displayed symbolic and spectacular storytelling. Since its inception in 1890, the Rose Parade has been a dazzling showcase of creativity.

This year's parade featured several young Chinese participants, including some from Alhambra, California. The diverse community is home to an Asian American population of more than 45,000 and has strong ties to the Chinese community.

The inspiration for the city's Dragon Music float came from Shannon Tan, 13, a seventh-grader at Ramona Elementary School.

The giant dragon, surrounded by musical notes and instruments, clutched a globe in its claw by standing protectively over a sleeping baby dragon, which symbolized peace and unity, according to Tan.

A conceptual design titled Lyrical Call of Nature, a float from Torrance, California, depicted baby birds calling for their mother. While responding to their calls, the mother bird creates "a beautiful song found in nature", according to Jodie Cheng, a young artist from West High School.

Cheng's design was among 16 submitted to the Torrance Rose Float Association last fall when the group opened its design contest to students in all five high schools in the Torrance Unified School District.

Inga, a newcomer to the US, told China Daily that it was fascinating to see the design, as it brought her back to home.

"What remains fresh in my memory is that there used to be a similar bird's nest next to my house in my hometown," she said. "And everything of the design was made from natural trees, flowers and seeds. It's beautiful."

The parade themed Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language began with a performance featuring some popular singers and artists, making its way along the traditional 5 1/2-mile route, moving east along Colorado Boulevard to northbound Sierra Madre Boulevard, ending at Villa Street.

Alex Aghajanian, the president of the Tournament of Roses Association, who announced the theme a year ago, said that music is the one language that unites people across different cultures, and represents their beliefs, hopes and dreams.

After the parade, the floats were stripped to their chassis. Structural steel elements are reused where possible; organic materials and sculptural steel are recycled, according to the association.

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