The 2012 Tournament of Roses made its spectacular way down Colorado Boulevard on Monday, but the floral-decked floats and gleaming marching bands were shadowed — literally — by anger at the nation's political and financial woes.
Hundreds of thousands of people lined the sidewalks at the 123rd annual event while in a nearby park, several hundreds anti-Wall Street protesters put the finishing touches on an unofficial float — a 70-foot-wide octopus representing the demonstrators' view that greedy banks and corporations have a stranglehold on the government.
Occupy the Rose Parade protesters planned to carry the makeshift float down the boulevard at the end of the two-hour internationally broadcast parade, where groups who want to make political statements regularly tag along.
"It's an opportunity to get in front of a large group of people who, in most cases, should be sympathetic to our cause," said William Garrels, of Sacramento.
"Why is it that the banks need a bailout and people aren't (getting one)?" said Jill Emery, of Sierra Madre, as she held a sign that read: "Nightmare on Wall Street — Rethink the American Dream."
Hundreds of extra police officers from numerous law enforcement agencies were in place but no problems were reported.
There were 10 arrests overnight, including four felonies, as thousands of spectators staked out viewing places along the route but that figure was down from the previous year, police said.
Spectators seem to be taking the prospect of an Occupy protest in stride.
"Everybody has a right to march to protest," said Bill Steffin, of Los Angeles. "They followed procedures so far."