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Louisiana Steals the Show at the 2024 Rose Parade with Vibrant Mardi Gras Float

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The 2024 Rose Parade took place on January 1st in Pasadena, California, and it was a picture postcard show.[0] The parade, which has been a New Year's Day tradition since 1890, featured a variety of floats, including the Explore Louisiana float.[1] This float, decorated with larger-than-life Mardi Gras jester, fleurs de lis, and second-line inspired umbrellas, highlighted Louisiana's rich music and Mardi Gras culture.[2]

Louisiana is no stranger to the Rose Parade, as this was the third consecutive year the state was represented in the parade.[3] In fact, the Explore Louisiana float won the Showmanship Award for the most outstanding display of showmanship and entertainment.[4] The float showcased the vibrant and unique festivals that take place throughout the state, with Mardi Gras being the biggest and most celebrated.[2]

Mardi Gras is synonymous with Louisiana, and the parade float captured the essence of this festive occasion. From the renowned Mardi Gras Indians to the beads and the colors of purple, green, and gold representing justice, faith, and power, Louisiana knows how to throw a party. The state's musical heritage was also highlighted, with songs like “Mardi Gras Mambo” and “Carnival Time” filling the airwaves.[2]

The Rose Parade, which attracts a live audience of approximately 700,000 people, is one of the most-watched events on New Year's Day.[5] This year, the parade was televised on the ABC network and live-streamed on platforms like Fubo TV, Christmas Plus, Pluto TV, and LocalNow.[5] The parade's theme, “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language,” was brought to life by the floats and performances by artists such as David Archuleta, Cassadee Pope, Michelle Williams, and Rush Davis.

Leading the parade as the grand marshal was Audra McDonald, a six-time Tony Award-winning performer. McDonald, known for her talents in theater, music, and television, embodies the theme of the parade and the universal language of music. Her selection as grand marshal was announced by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses President, Alex Aghajanian.

As with any large-scale event, security was tight along the parade route.[1] Spectators were asked to report any suspicious activity and call 911 in case of an emergency.[1] The parade route, which closed to traffic at 10 p.m. on December 31st, remained closed until at least 2 p.m. on January 1st for cleanup.

For those planning to attend the parade, parking in the area was limited, and it was recommended to take public transportation.[1] Metro offered free fares on all bus and rail lines during the parade, and there were four Metro A Line stations located within a half-mile of the parade route.[6]

Camping overnight along the parade route was only permitted on the night before the parade.[7] Spectators could start claiming spaces on the sidewalk at noon on Sunday, but all people and property had to remain on the curb until 11 p.m. After 11 p.m., spectators were allowed to move out to the blue “Honor Line” on the street.[6]

It was important for spectators to follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the organizers. Drones were strictly prohibited along the parade route and over the Rose Bowl during the football game.[1] Violators could face arrest, prosecution, jail time, and fines.[7]

Overall, the 2024 Rose Parade was a spectacular showcase of music, culture, and entertainment. With floats representing different states and themes, it brought together people from all walks of life to celebrate the start of a new year. The Louisiana float, in particular, stood out with its vibrant colors and larger-than-life decorations, earning it the Showmanship Award.[3] The parade continues to be a beloved tradition that captivates audiences both live and through television broadcasts, showcasing the creativity and talent of participants and leaving a lasting impression on viewers around the world.

0. “City Releases Map to Help Paradegoers Get Around, Understand Parking Rules – Pasadena Now” Pasadena Now, 28 Dec. 2023, https://www.pasadenanow.com/main/city-releases-second-map-to-help-paradegoers-get-around-understand-parking-rules

1. “2024 Rose Parade: Here's all you need to know about the New Year's celebration” NBC San Diego, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/2024-rose-parade-route-how-to-watch-getting-there/3389622/

2. “Sneak Preview: Floats represent a cross-section of lifestyles, causes” Pasadena Weekly, 29 Dec. 2023, https://www.pasadenaweekly.com/special_issues/sneak-preview-floats-represent-a-cross-section-of-lifestyles-causes/article_178d6520-a685-11ee-950c-0bcde50b50e5.html

3. “Louisiana float wins award, musicians perform in Rose Parade” Unfiltered with Kiran, 1 Jan. 2024, https://unfilteredwithkiran.com/louisiana-float-wins-award-musicians-perform-in-rose-parade/

4. “Louisiana's Rose Parade float wins Showmanship Award for second straight year” WWLTV.com, 1 Jan. 2024, https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/entertainment-news/louisiana-rose-parade-float-showmanship-award-california/289-6282b716-a320-409d-8022-864e67ebf107

5. “Louisiana’s 2024 Rose Parade float is a giant Mardi Gras jester” NOLA.com, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.nola.com/entertainment_life/mardi_gras/louisianas-rose-parade-float-is-a-giant-mardi-gras-jester/article_7c89044a-a0d4-11ee-8763-3b024aecb39c.html

6. “Decorators placing finishing touches on floats less than 24 hours ahead of Rose Parade” CBS News, 31 Dec. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/float-decorators-placing-finishing-touches-less-than-24-hours-ahead-of-rose-parade/

7. “Rose Parade 2024: What to know” CBS Los Angeles, 30 Dec. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/losangeles/news/rose-parade-2024-what-to-know

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