Campers stake their claims on parade route

PASADENA And with the threat of protests this year, security is tighter than ever.

For hundreds of people, camping out on Colorado Blvd. is an annual tradition. The Pasadena Police Department is therefore doing everything it can to make sure everybody stays safe.

On your mark... get set... claim your spot.

At noon on Monday, parade-goers were able to set up camp along Colorado Blvd.

"We love it. We've been doing it every year since we were kids. It's a lot of fun," Amy Jahnke said.

Having fun requires a little planning.

"Board games, food, footballs - whatever it takes to have fun. We've got a lot of time to kill," Matt Hoag said.

Those lucky enough to get a spot on the route will be treated to a two hour spectacle of magnificent floral floats, marching bands, and more.

The 5.5 mile parade begins at the corner of Ellis St. and Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena. The parade travels north on Orange Grove, turns east onto Colorado Blvd., and turns north on Sierra Madre Blvd. at the end of the route.

This year, the parade comes with controversy.

Cindy Sheehan, whose son died fighting in Iraq, is planning a peace rally in Pasadena on Tuesday, calling for the impeachment of Pres. Bush.

Also, demonstrators will turn their backs when the Olympic Games float passes by, to send a message that they oppose China's civil rights practices.

Pasadena police want parade-goers to know security will be tight.

"We have additional forces that we contract with, we work with L.A. County sheriff's department, the California Highway Patrol, a variety of other city's police departments help us out, in addition to the appropriate state and federal government agencies," Pasadena Police Dept. spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens said.

For more information or if you have any questions about the Tournament of Roses Parade or the Rose Bowl, you can call the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-877-793-9911.

Remember to watch the 119th Tournament of Roses Parade on ABC7 beginning at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Rose Bowl at 1:30 p.m.

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