Float decorators working on last-minute preparations for the Rose Parade faced high winds and bracing cold Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
The National Weather Service said parade watchers could experience temperatures tying a record low of 32 degrees set in 1952, though they later said the parade itself is likely to be 35 degrees, with 32 reserved for surrounding areas. The end-of-year storm dumped snow even on relatively low-lying cities across Southern California.
It was already so cold Tuesday that volunteers preparing floats had to help coax the flowers open by gently blowing on them to warm them, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Winds on Wednesday afternoon injured four people, according to the Pasadena Fire Department, NBC L.A. reports. Fire officials called it a "freak wind event," though they noted that it wasn't a tornado, despite some claims on social media. The people received minor injuries when, around 2 p.m., the wind whipped up equipment near the stadium, causing it to strike the four people.
And at least some decorating activities were called off Tuesday night as the wind kicked up and made it difficult to continue working, according to updates from the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses sent via Twitter:
Volunteers came out Wednesday morning to help finish the job:
Meanwhile, near freezing temperatures didn't stop Pasadena High School seniors Max Perry and Jaylen Medina, both 17, from turning out before dawn to stake out their Rose Parade spots Wednesday.
The two were camped out in front of Z Pizza on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena by about 4 a.m., and they were bundled up against the cold.
"What I'm wearing is like tights under my pants, a lot of layers, on top of that blankets and more blankets. We're in California but it feels like Chicago. That pretty much explains it — it's just chilly, like my face is freezing, I don't like that my face is cold," Perry told KPCC.
It was Perry's first time camping out early for a Rose Parade. Medina said he was a veteran, but this was the earliest he had ever turned out to stake a claim.
"I think this is the coldest it's been so far. You'll be fine for like two minutes if you step outside, and that's when the wind chill will hit you. But if you cover your face you'll be good — like I am right now with a scarf," Medina said.
The high for New Year's Day is expected to be 60 degrees.
This story has been updated.