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135th Rose Parade boasts floral floats, sunny skies as California tradition kicks off the new year

Cheering fans in front of a wall of entertainment images.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Floral floats, marching bands and equestrian units took to the streets under a sunny California sky as the 135th Rose Parade drew hundreds of thousands of spectators on New Year’s Day. The Pasadena, California, tradition on Monday featured Broadway legend Audra McDonald as grand marshal and the theme “Celebrating a World of Music: The Universal Language.” The top prize, the 2024 Sweepstakes Trophy, went to the San Diego Zoo for the float “It All Started With a Roar,” depicting its mascot Rex the Lion and celebrating wildlife conservation. Huge crowds lined the parade route. Many camped out on sidewalks overnight.