Sandwiched between two professional bicycle races and corralled down a shorter than normal downtown course, the 122nd Luther Burbank Rose Parade still managed to wow the hometown crowd with displays of charm and tradition.
Beginning with Santa Rosa police motorcycle officers performing synchronized maneuvers and ending with street sweepers ensuring the course was free of debris, about 150 entries snaked their way through downtown streets swelled with parade and cycling fans.
As the parade passed the judging area, Bree Kalson, wearing a hat adorned with flowers, picked up her 4-year-old son, Leo, and so he could wave to Smokey the Bear.
Leo and his fellow Franklin Park Co-op pre-school classmate, Ruby Fleish, were just two of the many preschoolers who had earlier showed their school pride by marching in the parade, the theme of which was Re-Cycling Into The Future.
“They really enjoyed waving to all the people and throwing flower confetti,” Kalson said.
With the men’s race finishing on the same streets the parade took an hour earlier, there was a special emphasis on keeping the route as clean as possible this year. Horses were followed by particularly attentive pooper-scoopers. Parade participants were also instructed not to throw candy out of a concern that stray sweets might wreak havoc on the final moments of the men’s race.
As he handed out handfuls of candy to eager onlookers, Kim Mazarek said he was happy to comply.
“I didn’t want to be the one responsible for a bicyclist crashing into the side of Macy’s,” he said.
122nd Luther Burbank Rose Parade Special Awards
Best county high school entry: Rancho Cotate High School
Best overall equestrian entry: Mary Ann Reece
Best tribute to Luther Burbank: Luther Burbank Home & Gardens
Best use of color: Ballet Folklorico
Best use of recycled materials: Friedman’s Home Improvement
Best use of roses: Sonoma County Library
Best use of theme: Strawberry School
Best entry using local history: Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association
Best unit in parade: Century High School, Hillsboro, Ore.
Antique or classic auto: Industrial Carting & Global
Band, elementary school: Rincon Valley Royals
Band, high school: Rancho Cotate High School
Band, middle school: Rincon Valley/Herbert Slater
Band, nonschool: Burning Ice
Band, out of county: Century High School, Hillsboro, Ore.
Color guard, adult: Santa Rosa Fire Department
Costume group, adult: Blind Scream Haunted House
Costume group, youth: Franklin Park Co-op
Cultural dance: Ballet Folklorico
Cultural music: Windsor Bloco
Heritage costume: National Organization for Women
Cultural, other: Pilipino-American Association in Sonoma County
Drill team, high school: Rincon Valley Christian
Drill team, middle school: Lawrence Cook
Drill team, elementary: Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts
Drum major, middle school: Lawrence Cook
Drum major, high school: Century High School
Drum major, elementary: Rincon Valley Royals
Flag team, elementary: Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts
Flag team, high school: Rancho Cotate High School