2008 Olympics "Invades" California

The Beijing Olympic Float joined the renowned Pasadena Tournament of Rose Parade in Los Angeles on Tuesday, giving the show a spectacular flavor. Millions of spectators from around the world cheered as the Beijing Olympic Float passed.

The Rose Parade featured magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands, displaying the tradition and pageantry for which it is renowned. The Beijing Olympic Float, organized by the Round table of Southern California Chinese-American Organizations and sponsored by Pasadena-based Avery Dennison Corp., was one of the highlights of the 119th Rose Parade. This was the first time that the Chinese people from the Chinese mainland and overseas Chinese have joined their hands in participating in the grand gala in its 119-year history. The float represented the good will of overseas Chinese to the upcoming Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, organizers said. The theme of this year's New Year's Day parade is "Passport to the World's Celebrations." It featured 46 floats, 21 marching bands and 18 equestrian units. The Beijing Olympic Float themed "One World, One Dream" was a generous gift from the Beijing Olympic Games to the American people and the Parade, according to the organizers. The float featured the upcoming Olympics' five official mascots rotating on a base and decorated with a combination of flowers, including carnations and daisy petals.

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard said the Beijing Olympics Float " celebrates a great international tradition of competition, discipline and commitment to strong human values." "The tournament views the float as I do, as a celebration of the Olympic Games," Bogaard said. "The Tournament of Roses, which now has a history extending over 119 years, is a nonpolitical organization," he said. "It celebrates a great competition consistent with the theme of the Rose Parade this year, which is the World's Great Celebrations." "My sense is that the spirit of the day will be to celebrate the strength and the positive achievements of people," Bogaard said. Richardson Rowe, a tourist from New York, said the Beijing Olympic Float gave a new meaning to the Rose Parade on the New Year eve. "The beautifully-decorated float impressed me a great deal. It serves as a vivid introduction to the Beijing Olympic Games," he said. This year's Rose Parade was broadcast on the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Univision, HGTV, Travel Channel, Discovery HD as well as several local television stations in the Los Angeles area. Source

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