PASADENA, Calif. — The roses are ready; the skies will be blue.
Just a few clouds are expected for the 129th annual Rose Parade on New Year’s morning, and temperatures are expected to reach a high of the mid-70s once again in Pasadena.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the street to watch floats decked out with hundreds of thousands of flowers, along with a few show horses, marching bands and celebrities. Millions more will watch on TV.
It has rained only once on the Rose Parade in the past six decades — that was in 2006 — and it has never been canceled because of weather.
The theme of the 2018 parade is “Making a Difference” and actor Gary Sinise is the grand marshal, chosen because of his devotion to veteran’s issues.
Sinise, who played Vietnam vet Lt. Dan Taylor in 1994’s “Forrest Gump,” said when he was chosen that he was happy to serve as grand marshal because of the vets he seeks to help.
“If shining a little spotlight on me on January first can shine a spotlight on them to help me make a difference in their lives, I am very, very grateful to do that,” he said.
Veterans and family members of those killed in action will appear on some of the floats.
Spectators started lining the 3.5-mile (5.6-kilometer) route on Sunday, many of them camping on sidewalks and braving overnight temperatures in the low 40s (around 5 degrees Celsius) to watch the floats start drifting by in the morning.
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said there are no known threats to the parade but that fan safety will remain first priority and security will be tight.
Later in the day and just a few blocks away is the 104th Rose Bowl, which this year is a College Football Playoff semifinal pitting Oklahoma against Georgia.