The one thing I’ve noticed in walking along Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Eve night is that nobody goes alone. There are always families, either in tents or in blankets, huddled against the cold, keeping themselves entertained by roasting marshmallows or hot dogs or shooting silly string at each other or at passing cars. And I can’t help but wonder if the next Rose princesses will come from the among the ranks of those huddled in the cold this weekend, inspired by watching this year’s queen and court pass by on their lavishly decorated float.
I can’t help but wonder if there is a little boy or girl somewhere who will be inspired this weekend to pick up an instrument as they see the University of Oregon marching band pass by in perfect formation.
I’ll be going up and down the boulevard this weekend asking families why they participate. Sure, it’s to watch the parade. But is there something else? What’s the connection between watching the Rose Parade on the street and braving the cold for just two hours of entertainment in the morning when they could watch it at home while staying warm with their family?