Rose Queen & Her Court

In the kingdom of Southern Californialand we don’t have a king, but we do have a queen – the Rose Queen. Her reign is brief – just a year. The Queen and her court work their way up through the charm schools and debutant balls of the San Gabriel Valley. The highest call of duty for the bevy of beauties is waving very properly to their subjects and cradling a super-sized bouquet of red roses like a baby while being strapped on a flower covered barge-like vehicle riding toward the morning sunshine of the New Year. Palm trees and crystal clear blue sky provide the picture perfect backdrop.

Without a doubt the Rose Parade is the grandest and most detailed spectacle on the planet. The prized show horses, champion marching bands and rolling flower petal art procession has been a tradition since 1890.

If you’ve never been, WHAT are you waiting for? It’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay more dazzling and fragrant in person. You don’t have to get there the night before to get a great spot. Do what I do. Arrive at the parade about 8:30AM. The trick is to get a spot at the end of the route – Colorado and Sierra Madre.

DIRECTIONS…From LA take the San Bernardino Fwy (10) exit at AtlanticBlvd. Go north to Huntington Drive, turn right, then left on Sierra MadreBlvd. PARK YOUR CAR just east of Sierra Madre Blvd, on a residentialside street, four or five blocks South of Colorado Blvd. Then observe thelegendary spectacle somewhere near the corner of Sierra Madre and ColoradoBlvd, which is near the end of the parade route.

Afterwards you’ll be starving of course. For me and the gang it’s usually a hearty-heavy-fatty lunch at the North Woods Inn, nearby at the corner of Rosemead and Huntington Drive (7247 Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel, 626-286-8284). Please don’t forget to marvel at the fake snow on the roof.

If you’re up early watch for me on the KTLA Pre-Rose Parade Show beginning at 6am. My quickie segment is scheduled for 6:10.