Floats, marching bands hit the streets for 131st Rose Parade

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — After a flyover by a B-2 stealth bomber, marching bands and floral floats took to the streets under mostly sunny California skies as the 131st Rose Parade drew hundreds of thousands of spectators on New Year's Day.

Among the fanciful floats was an award-winning entry from the Chinese American Heritage Foundation that marked the 75th anniversary of the U.S. victory in World War II and honored the sacrifices of women and minorities in the military.

A Curtiss P-40 Flying Tiger fighter and Sherman tank on the float were decorated in eucalyptus leaves with accents of black onion seed, white sweet rice and red ilex berries.

After the bomber streaked overhead, a performance by singer Ally Brooke kicked off the colorful proceedings.

The annual extravaganza on Wednesday in Pasadena featured dozens of floats decked out with countless flowers and waving celebrities.

There were just a few clouds and temperatures reached the mid 60s (about 18 degrees Celsius) after a chilly night.

It has rained only once on the Rose Parade in the past six decades — that was in 2006 — and it has never been canceled because of weather.

The theme of the 2020 parade is "The Power of Hope." The grand marshals are actresses Rita Moreno and Gina Torres and Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.

A beaming Moreno waved from a rose-adorned antique car with her two adult grandsons.

“Aquatic Aspirations,” a float built by students at California Polytechnic State University, featured a submarine, Hope, festooned with red and orange lentils, white mums, silver leaf, and seaweed.

Spectators started lining the 5.5-mile (8.9-kilometer) route on Tuesday, many of them camping on sidewalks and braving overnight temperatures in the 40s (around 5 degrees Celsius).

Pasadena police said there were no known threats to the parade, and spectator safety would remain the first priority and security would be tight. No major problems were reported.