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Rose Parade: Clock winds down on float preparations

December 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
It is almost time to ring in the New Year and that means preparations for the upcoming 124th Rose parade are in full bloom.

With the clocks ticking, volunteers are racing to get the impressive floats parade-ready before showtime on New Year's Day. This year's Dr. Seuss-inspired theme is "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"

Indonesia's Ministry of Tourism float will be highlighting the country's distinctive culture.

Vincent Jemadu, Deputy Director of International Promotion, Indonesia Ministry of Tourism, said the memorable float reminds all that Indonesia is a destination for young and old to enjoy.

The two-unit float will be accompanied by 10 dancers in dazzling costumes that originate from the annual Batik Carnival Festival, which stretches through the city of Solo. Four of the float's dancers were in full costume Friday preparing to move to traditional music six miles down Colorado Boulevard on New Year's Day.

Delta Sigma Theta, the world's largest African-American sorority, is making their Rose Parade debut this year. Their first ever float will mark a milestone for the charitable service group, who's celebrating their 100th anniversary.

"We have our globe which represents our reach around the world and all of our chapters," said Dawnyell Goolsby of Delta Sigma Theta.

Kaiser Permanente's Oh the Healthy Things You Can Do float will be honoring some of America's healthiest individuals.

"What we really want to envision and tell people is it's really important for people to take care of total health," said Mayra Suarez of Kaiser Permanente. "We're talking about mind, body, and the spirit. Riding on board the float will be eight individuals who have really taken that message and really made it their own."

Three healthy senior citizens who are members of an all-senior tap dancing crew will make their Rose Parade debut on the float. The women range from 77 to 88 years old.

"They are just really embracing and living the healthy aging message," said Suarez.

The float will be made up of more than 25,000 roses and dried ingredients such as rice and seaweed.

Military heroes are also a parade staple. Natural Balance pet foods will be honoring America's four-legged heroes with its Canines for Courage float. Riding onboard will be five military working dogs, including Lucca, a Belgian Malinois that served five years as a bomb sniffing dog in Iraq and Afghanistan before losing her leg.

"She's trained to find explosives," U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Chris Willingham said. "She's saved numerous lives leading patrols. She led over 400 which resulted in zero injuries so she's an amazing dog."

The float, made from golden clover seeds and crushed white rice, is a replica of the United States Military Working Dog Teams National Monument.

The U.S. military asks those who will be at the Rose Parade to stand up and salute the canines as they parade down Colorado Boulevard for their services and sacrifices to our country.

Parade goers won't be allowed to stake out a spot until noon on Monday. And if you're sitting in the grandstands, several items have been banned including backpacks, coolers and large bags.

Pasadena has set up a hotline to help parade goers. The special toll-free Visitor Hotline is (877) 793-9911 and will operate Dec. 28 to Jan. 2, 2013.


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