Last year’s Rose Court finds joy in being spectators

There were no better cheerleaders than the five young women sitting in Section 475.

They whooped and clapped as the floats, marching bands and equestrian units turned the famous corner of Orange Grove and Colorado boulevards for the 2023 Rose Parade on Monday, Jan. 2.

Of course, these were not your typical parade watchers. These are Rose Parade aficionados. They spent last year as princesses, living and breathing Tournament of Roses for months before riding atop the royal court float on parade day.

“When you are in the parade, you don’t get to see all the floats. You only see what’s in front of you,” said Jaeda Walden, 2022 princess, who enjoyed this year’s parade on Monday with her fellow 2022 princesses and their family members at a prime grandstand location along the famous parade route.

“Turning this corner is a real surreal moment,” she said about the parade experience. “You can see everyone in the crowd enjoying the parade.”

Read more Rose Parade coverage here.

This year, they didn’t miss a detail about each entry. “Last year, everything went by really fast. But you can see the faces in the crowd,” said Jeannine Briggs.

These young women were really viewing the parade for the first time as spectators. Their enthusiasm was off the charts. It may have been their inside knowledge about the marching bands, floats and equine troops.

For example, how each band navigated the turn was a topic of conversation. One of their favorites was the Taipei First Girls High School Marching Band, Honor Guard and Color Guard, whose marchers turned the corner in a precise, yet intermittent formation, seamlessly blending in and out of each line of marchers.

When Truggio marching band, from Italy, jammed out on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” the former princesses sang along.

Ava Feldman, who especially loved all the horsemanship displays, said is was difficult to pick whether she liked being a rider or a watcher of the parade.

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“It’s just cool we got to experience this from both sides,” Feldman said.

Related links

Top 5 moments from Rose Parade 2023 that had people talking
2023 Rose Parade lineup: Your guide to every float, every band, every horse unit, in order
Rose Parade 2023: Here are the judges’ picks for best floats
How to see 2023 Rose Parade floats up close after the procession


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