We decided to watch the Rose Parade in Pasadena City in the New Year during our stay in LA, not only because the parade is one of the most traditional New Year celebrations in the United States, but also because we had a very special reason: Shanghai EXPO Theme Float sponsored by the American- Chinese would debut at the 121- year-old Pasadena Rose Parade. As a Chinese and especially as a young cadre from Shanghai, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to watch the float here.
Early on the first morning of 2010, we arrived at Colorado Boulevard along Allen Avenue in Pasadena, which is in the central part of the parade route. The street sidewalks along the parade route in Pasadena were staked by thousands of people who arrived there the day before and stayed overnight outside for a better viewpoint. They were eating breakfast and looked so tired, but they were all excited about the coming event. The parade began on time at nine o'clock. One by one, the beautiful floats passed by us, and the audiences waved their hands and said "Happy New Year" to the performers among the colorful roses and other kinds of flowers.
As time flew, we kept saying to each other, "When will the EXPO float come?" About 10:30 a.m., we heard much more cheerful sound and everyone shouted, "EXPO, EXPO…" We saw a team of little roller-skaters dressed as "Haibao" suddenly appearing. Consisting of nearly 100 Shanghai pupils, the roller-skaters dressed in the blue Shanghai Expo mascot "Haibao" costumes with colorful gauzy wings taxied in front of the big float which is nearly 20 meters long, dancing and performing, like a group of butterflies. An air-inflated "haibao" with a real person acting inside also joined the parade, marching and amusing the audience around the Shanghai float. Excited audiences shouted "Jackie, Jackie" when the Expo float with the action film star and Shanghai Expo image ambassador, Jackie Chan, veered into viewpoint. The float went by slowly, waving to the watching crowd along the street. We were very proud to say to the people around us that we came from Shanghai…
The Parade finished but we were still very excited for the success of the EXPO-Theme Float. We were deeply impressed by the Rose Parade. In fact, since we arrived in LA, the second largest city in the United States, we have been impressed often by the Chinese Americans who have succeeded in different fields of work. They have made great contributions both to their motherland and to the U.S. This time, for example, they managed to raise $350,000 for the Expo Theme Float to join the Rose Parade with 40 other floats. It's a wonderful experience that I will remember forever.
Shanghai scholars at 2010 Rose Parade
Shanghai Scholars at Dr. Su's house
Shanghai scholars visit Pierce College