Families plan to attend Rose Parade

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Brian Watt/KPCC

Hundreds of people volunteered this week to put in the finishing touches on floats for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade to take place on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011 in Pasadena, Calif.

Come shine – or worse yet, rain - thousands of families plan to spend tonight along Colorado Boulevard for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. It's a long-standing tradition for many households.

This year’s theme is "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories." It’s the 122nd annual parade and each year it draws about a million people.

Pasadena Fire Chief Dennis Downs says more of those humans are bringing their pets along. The law requires them to remain on leashes at all times. “Pets can be a little frightened. A little anxious, and we don’t want any dog bites.”

Chief Downs says his department’s goal is to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere for families. “And we just want to make sure that it's safe and that everybody has a good time.”

This year’s Rose Parade offers about 40 floats. That’s about a dozen fewer than in previous years.

Each one costs about $250,000. In this economy, several non-profits that used to sponsor floats – like Ronald McDonald House – have bowed out.

Others, like Madeleine Pickens’ "Saving America’s Mustangs," are making debut appearances.

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