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Rose Parade: Excitement building in Pasadena

December 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Excitement is building for the Tournament of Roses Parade. More than a million people are expected along the parade route.

Security is being beefed up and the city's emergency operations center is ready in case of any major incidents. People camping out for the parade were allowed to stake out their spots starting at noon Monday.

Items banned along the parade route include tents, sofas, unoccupied chairs, bonfires and fireworks, except as part of scheduled official events. If you're sitting in the grandstands, several items have been banned including backpacks, coolers and large bags. No alcohol of any kind is allowed on the parade route.

Only small, professionally manufactured barbecues that are elevated at least one foot off the ground will be allowed. People cooking along the route must have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez advised the public to arrive with a lot of extra time and a lot of patience.

"There's going to be hundreds of thousands of people on the parade route, and often times, what happens is some folks get drinking with alcohol, that leads to physical altercations," he said.

Sanchez said there were over 30 arrests last year along the parade route.

Meantime, volunteers put the finishing touches to the 42 floats that will take part in the Rose Parade. Plenty of detail and intricate work went into making the Department of Defense's Korean War float, which will be one of the floats up for the coveted Sweepstakes Trophy.

"We're delighted to be here," said Col. David Clark, who will be riding on the float during the parade. "This is an incredible float, and it represents the Korean War and the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, and more important, the fighting men and women who served in Korea 60 years ago."

Clark said this is the first time the Department of Defense has had a float in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

Donate Life's "Journeys of the Heart" float is another special one, which is dedicated to everyone who has donated an organ to help someone live. The roses are individually labeled with a donor's name.

"It's all about the journey of the heart in a donor family, like ourselves, my wife and I. Our son was a donor and touched 37 lives. But it's also a journey for the recipients that have received," said volunteer Larry Lesserts.

Judging started at 3 p.m. Monday for the floats at the Phoenix Decorating Company. Then, the floats carefully made their way to Pasadena to their individual launch points ahead of the parade. After the parade, you can get an up-close and personal look at the floats, which will be parked along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena. To get more information about the post-parade viewing event, visit www.tournamentofroses.com.

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.

Watch the 124th Rose Parade on New Year's Day Tuesday on ABC7 starting at 8 a.m.