Now over a hundred years old, every year Pasadena hosts the "Tournament of Roses" parade, after which the Rose Bowl football game is played. It's the biggest parade in the world, I think. Several million people showed up this year to watch it in person, and over 450 million watched on tv. Every visible surface of the floats must be covered with vegetation (usually flowers and herbs), and they are quite a feat to build. It turns out my house is only about 150 yards from the parade route, so it's easy to watch.

Trivia: Parades have their direct origin in the processions through Rome made when a victorious general returned from victory in the field. Called "Triumphs", they could last for several days. The returning army would wait outside the gates until they were formally invited back in. They would then parade through Rome, displaying their weapons, the treasure they had captured, and their prisoners. Musicians would march along and play music. And floats?? The first floats were rolling models of cities they had defeated, important events during the battles, or just interesting things they had seen along the way.

People start lining up on the streets about 4 days ahead of time. The streets all fill up with campers and motorhomes and it takes on a sort of apocalyptic-refugee/carnival air. This also lends itself to a really big street party on New Year's Eve.
By the time the parade begins, the crowd is a lot bigger! Pay no attention to the date stamp on the pictures - I discovered that morning that my new camera was still set to Tokyo time!
The Grand Marshal, "Buzz" Aldrin, the second man on the moon. The theme this year was "A Century of Progress". There were a couple astronaut related floats. Note that the Saturn V was over 7 stories tall.
Yes, the Chevy is made of flowers.
The JPL float this year had a Martian theme. Note the Pathfinder rover.
Look at the Cat in the Hat in order to get an idea of the colossal size of some of these things. Thing 1 and Thing 2 were real people dancing in the top of the float.