The annual Rose Parade, which is built by the blood, sweat and tears of florists, designers and volunteers, will take place on the southern California streets of Pasadena on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2015 and air across the United States both on TV and the Internet, where viewers can watch via live stream free below.
The theme for the annual parade this time around, according to CBS Los Angeles, is "Inspirational Stories." One of those stories involved Olympian Cliff Meidl, who nearly lost his legs while digging.
"I was working a construction site, operating a jack hammer and ended up jack hammering into some energized power lines," Meidl said. "I was very hurt after I had my accident, you know, emotionally, and I needed to get something into somewhere I could channel my energy out and my brother introduced me to canoe paddling."
CBS Los Angeles reported that Meidl will ride on the Dig Alert float as proof that he has thrived in the midst of adversity. He competed on two Olympic teams in kayaking.
Another inspiring story showcased by the upcoming Rose Parade will come from Joan Williams, a Pasadena woman. Although she was named Miss Crown City in 1958 by the city of Pasadena, LAist reported that the city denied her the opportunity to take part in the festivities back then when people found out she was of African-American heritage, despite the fact she was fair-skinned.
"It was one of the first times, as an adult, I began to grow up and realize what racism is," Williams said. "You can imagine the slap in the face that is."
Despite the fact that the city of Pasadena hasn't issued a formal apology to her, Williams told LAist that receiving this honor now was quite fitting, given the divisive events that happened across the United States over the past year in regards to relations between minority groups and law enforcement.
"The recognition I would've received then, I think, is more impactful now than it would've been then," Williams said.
In the meantime, the city of Pasadena has started preparing for the mass crowds that will line up for the New Year's Day spectacle. According to CBS Los Angeles, this included adding volunteers to staff the "Visitors Hotline" to provide information for residents and tourists about events surrounding the parade as well as issuing rules for spectators to secure prime viewing spots.
"The weather is expected to be cold, so spectators are urged to dress appropriately and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration," CBS Los Angeles wrote.
According to the official Tournament of Roses website, the parade has taken place for over 100 years. It is a festival that combines flowers, floats built out of organic materials, music and sports.
"It's America's New Year Celebration, a greeting to the world on the first day of the year, and a salute to the community spirit and love of pageantry that have thrived in Pasadena for more than 100 years," the website stated.
The official website also noted that it takes about 800,000 hours of combined manpower each year to make the parade possible. That manpower is backed up by 935 volunteers who work for the nonprofit organization Tournament of Roses Association and wear distinctive white uniforms.
"Each volunteer is assigned to one of 31 committees, with responsibilities ranging from selecting parade participants to directing visitors on New Year's Day, to hosting the press headquarters for media coverage of the Rose Bowl Game, to giving presentations about the Tournament to community groups," the website stated.
Thursday's broadcast of the Rose Parade will at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on ABC, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, NBC, Univision and local stations RFD-TV and KTLA. Online viewers can stream the event online via WatchABC.com (check local availability) or through a Live Stream on KTLA.