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Huddling up on the parade route

People travel from afar and near to camp out in freezing temperatures while awaiting the floats.

January 03, 2011|By Melanie Hicken, melanie.hicken@latimes.com

PASADENA — While many camped out overnight for a chance to view the 121st annual Tournament of Roses Parade, Wisconsin resident Kristin Edwards snagged a prime spot of parade real estate shortly after 5 a.m. Saturday.

"This is just unbelievable," said Edwards, who found space for her husband and two children's four chairs along Colorado Boulevard. After the parade, they would head to the Rose Bowl for the Wisconsin-TCU matchup.

"My husband went to Madison," she said. "He's just a diehard Badger fan."

Edwards and her family were among the hundreds of thousands of people who braved the early morning, long lines and near-freezing temperatures for a chance to view the parade.

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It was still dark out Saturday as Olivia Cruz and her niece waited in the line snaking out of the Starbucks on Colorado Boulevard.

"This is the only line we're attempting to wait for," Cruz said. "But I don't even know if I want coffee that bad."

Still, they said they were glad to be at the parade.

"I'm excited," Cruz said. "This is my first time, and I grew up here."

While the parade-goers didn't get any rain, the temperatures dropped close to freezing overnight and stayed chilly into the morning.

Many overnight campers stayed in sleeping bags and next to makeshift campfires, while those with grandstand tickets huddled under puffy jackets and blankets.

But Minnesota resident Kim Schminkey said she didn't see what the big deal was.

"It's10 degrees at home," she said.

Schminkey made the trek to the parade with her mother and sister, who decided to attend the parade after viewing it separately from their respective homes last year.

"This is a bucket-list item for us," said Schminkey's mom, Judy Lemay, also a Minnesota resident, as they waited in a snaking bathroom line. "We've been planning this for months."

With the parade being a first-time experience for all three, they said they were too excited to be annoyed with the lines or crowds.

"Not us," Schminkey said. "We're just thrilled to be here."

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