An errant metallic balloon, apparently released during New Year's revelry, knocked out power to more than 8,000 homes and businesses in the South Pasadena area early Monday, authorities said.
"Somebody let go of one of those metallic balloons, which crossed a power line and caused a transformer to blow," San Marino Police Lt. Joseph Payne said.
More than 8,000 Southern California Edison customers were without electricity between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m. while the transformer was being repaired, said Dave Sparks, spokesman for the utility company.
"We are assuming the balloon came from a New Year's Eve party that carried on after midnight," Sparks said. Remnants of a metallic balloon were found near the intersection of Fair Oaks Avenue and Columbia Street where the electrical line was struck.
The affected 4-square-mile area included much of South Pasadena and portions of San Marino and Alhambra.
At the time of the power failure, a dozen Rose Parade floats were being taken to Pasadena from float vendor warehouses in neighboring Asuza. With no traffic signals functioning after the power failure, traffic problems hampered the pre-parade procession as it passed through South Pasadena, police said.