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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The 2014 Rose Parade: Flowers, Horses, and Co-Hosts Calling It In

by Kari Tervo

Mustard seed! Hydrangeas! And "nuts and leaves and bark and so on," according to co-hostess Stephanie Edwards. All fashioned into mobile rockets, robots, and giant baby heads! IT'S TIME FOR THE ROSE PARADE!

Every New Year's Day, Los Angeles TV station KTLA mounts a booth in the prime viewing spot on the Rose Parade route in Pasadena, and treats us all day to an 8-hour loop of "Bands! Horses! And flowered floats!" And best of all, the unscripted banter and non-sequiturs of long-time hosts Bob Eubanks (of game show hosting fame) and Stephanie Edwards. I'm pretty sure they can't stand each other and don't want to be there, which is part of the reason I watch the Rose Parade every year.

As I drove home in the early morning after an exciting evening of New Year's Eve festivities, I saw the Goodyear Blimp taking off from its base in Carson, CA. I didn't know it at the time, but it was on its way to the Rose Parade! I was excited to watch the parade, partly because I was really looking forward to watching Bob and Stephanie bicker. Sometimes Stephanie gets really mad! One year, I saw her terminate an employee during the credits. It went something like, "We thank Producer Brad Smith, Director Sarah Brown--well, she's fired!--Associate Director Lynn Cera. . ." 

You don't want to mess with Stephanie Edwards. I've seen Bob and Stephanie bicker plenty during past parades, but I think they were put on notice this year that they had to play nice. So there was a lot of, "Exactly, Bob!" and "I couldn't agree more, Stephanie!" It was a little disappointing, but I could sense the phrases were being spat through clenched teeth, so it was almost satisfying. 


The Rose Parade is a Southern California tradition, dating back 125 years. It's a family-friendly event that Bob Eubanks said around 1.5 million people attended in person this year! Who knows how many people tune in to watch the thing, but let me be hyperbolic and say everyone, everywhere. All the floats are covered in fresh flowers and produce of all sorts, and many are feats of float engineering. Five miles of parade and 72 tons of yellow strawflower and sweet rice is a lot to sort through, so let me offer my 2014 Rose Parade Top Five Co-Host Quote lists!


5. "Micah is down on the street. . .doing something." In reference to the activities of on-the-street correspondent Micah Ohlman.

4. "Thrilling!" Clearly not thrilled while watching a cheer squad doing typical cheer-squad things.

3.  "I'm so proud of these horses and their people." Catching herself after slipping into her Minnesota accent after recalling Norwegian greetings, to which Bob responded with annoyance, ". . .Okay."

2. "He's under the giant baby head." Commenting on a performer under one of six giant creepy baby heads on the Kaiser Permanente float.

1.  After Bob whines a little that they weren't offered free Honda blankets like the crowd lined up overnight: "Well, we didn't sleep on the street, either. . .we'll see if that continues!" FINALLY! Stephanie gets surly! More! More!

Unfortunately, they mostly reined Stephanie in this year, like the "vines of curly willow" on a float that Micah Ohlman was so enchanted by.


5.  "Judge Adam Levine was voted the Sexiest Man in the World. . .Okey-Dokey!" While commenting on a float sponsored by reality competition "The Voice."

4.  "I'd be so proud to say that's my son in the green outfit." Sarcastically commenting on a dancing Christmas tree in the Stanford marching band.

3.  "You should hear what's going on in our ear right now." And failing to elaborate.

2. "Wheeee!" In response to Stephanie reminiscing about a fun event.

1.  "You know how you say 'orangutang' in Indonesian? Or-ang-oo-tang. How 'bout THAT? Gosh I'm smart." While describing animals on an Indonesian-themed float.

Thanks, Bob! I couldn't agree more.

More 2014 Rose Parade highlights:
  •  "Matteo's Park," the Lion's Club entry, which featured a number of disabled kids riding along and waving. It's important to have more disabled kids in the public eye.
  • The adorable "Monster Truck" float by the City of Alhambra. A bunch of cute monsters riding in a big-ass truck!
  • An old couple making out on the e-harmony float.
  • The St. Augustine Marching 100 marching band, whose band room, uniforms, and instruments were wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. They re-built, and now they're in the Rose Parade!
  • A renegade plane-smoke ad never fully captured by the KTLA cameras.
  • The Honda-sponsored lead float was driven by "Asimo, the world's most advanced humanoid robot." "Who I've seen fall down stairs," added my boyfriend.
  • The really cool float by Cal Poly students that won the Creativity and Innovation award! I'm so impressed that students, with their busy engineering school schedules, took the effort to build this, and then won an award to boot!
  • Marching band members sweating bullets and limping with blisters after a five-mile march.
  • Happy people feeling hopeful with a new year!
Happy 2014, Beasties! With nuts, and leaves, and bark, and so on. <3

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