The Tournament of Roses Parade, most commonly known as the Rose Parade, is “America's New Year Celebration” held in Pasadena, California. It is a festival of flower-covered floats, marching bands, equestrians and the Rose Bowl college football game on New Year's Day (but moved to Monday if New Year's Day falls on a Sunday). Produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the parade, like every year, this year also was held in California with people attending from far-off areas. The event was a huge success especially for those who got out of their homes with families to witness spectacular display of flowers, floats, high-stepping marching bands and colorful equestrian units.
Rose Parade 2012 had a different theme than the ones held in previous years. This time around, it was themed "Just Imagine”. It was a special parade because it was the 123rd anniversary of the parade. People in huge numbers arrived at the venue. The parade saluted the men and women serving America throughout the world with a flyover at the beginning of the parade by four F-18 jets (performed by pilots of the Fighting Redcocks of Strike Fighter Squadron 22 (VFA-22) from the Naval Air Station at Lemoore, California).
Even though all preparations were intact and the event was also planned meticulously, things didn’t turn out the way it was expected. Turned out some protesters ended up disrupting the fleeting march, the group Occupy ended up at the Rose Parade carrying signs drawing attention to their cause of income inequality, and dozens of protesters planned to march at the end of the parade with an Occupy Octopus "live" float constructed of plastic bags.
People were highly disappointed to witness this disruption, especially those who had come in from such far-flung areas in advance and even had taken up the most strategic places to view the 5 1/2-mile parade route.
Overall, people were truly mesmerized by this year’s Rose Parade. One of the witnesses said, “I've watched this on TV since I was little. You can feel the joy and dedication in the floats. You feel the love and beauty you can't see on TV."
The 2012 Rose Parade had about 43 floats, 21 bands, and 18 equestrian units (with approximately 400 horses). The honor for being the last units in the parade went to All American Cowgirl Chicks (Equestrian), Needham Broughton High School (Band), and RFD-TV (Float).