Some of them stand for 2 1/2 months so some of us can sit for 2 1/2 hours.
That's grandstanding for you today, Pasadena-style.
Nearly 110,000 bleacher seats have been installed in nooks and crannies and atop parking lots along the route of this morning's Tournament of Roses Parade.
The seating spills from shopping-district alcoves, fills church courtyards and wraps around storefronts and palm trees on spindly legs made of bolted-together pipe.
Many paradegoers spend as much as $85 for a seat and an unobstructed view of the 100 passing floats and marching bands.
Others sit in some of the choicest seats for free.
Over the last half-century, grandstands have increasingly become a permanent fixture at the Rose Parade. Some are up so long, in fact, that they take on a permanence of their own.
Pasadena officials allow bleacher builders to erect grandstands near Orange Grove Avenue and Colorado Boulevard as early as Nov. 7 and leave them up until Jan. 15.
Some property owners who rent grandstand space demand faster building and removal.
"We make sure ours are the last to go up and the first to come down. It's in our agreement," said Tim Sun, business manager of the First United Methodist Church at 500 E. Colorado Blvd.
The church leases bleacher space to the Sharp Seating Co., the official grandstand provider for the parade. Sun declined to say how much the church is paid by Sharp -- which sells viewing spots there for $55 a seat.
Scaffolding for the bleachers covers most of the entrance court to the 80-year-old English Gothic-style church. "Especially at Christmas, it's not that attractive," acknowledged Senior Pastor David Richardson.
A mile to the east, bleachers in front of Holliston United Methodist Church at 1305 E. Colorado Blvd. cover the front of the castle-like, hand-hewn sandstone landmark.
The church pays Sharp Seating to erect the bleachers for it each year. Then church leaders sell the 1,400 seats for $45 each. When parking fees and proceeds from a pre-parade church-served breakfast are tallied, the church takes in about $40,000, said John Thompson, lay leader of the congregation.
"Our identity is totally taken away" when the church sign is removed to make room for the grandstand, said Assistant Pastor Melissa Rynders. "But this provides a very large part of our yearly budget."
A few blocks to the east, seating for about 15,000 obscures the front of Pasadena City College on East Colorado.
On West Colorado recently, scaffolding installer Mark Taitano was erecting a three-level photographer's platform in front of a Coldwell Banker office. He said modern grandstands have a standardized design that allows for modular installation.
Nonetheless, he said, city inspectors are strict. "They don't want people to be able to play around and loosen any bolts," Taitano said. "We have to have everything nailed down."
Pasadena officials have been vigilant since 1926, when 11 people died and 200 were injured after wooden bleachers at the southeast corner of Colorado and Madison Avenue collapsed during the New Year's parade. That's when the city began requiring steel reinforcement.
These days, grandstand inspection teams include engineers, said Sarkis Nazerian, in charge of Pasadena's Planning & Building Department.
The parade route's 75 or so grandstand locations include places that seat thousands -- or just a few dozen.
At America's Tire Co. this week, in the 1900 block of East Colorado, a six-row section of bleachers stood in front of wheel-alignment bays, ready for 140 float-watchers.
"That would be us. It's for employees -- people are coming from other stores," explained a grinning tire technician, Brock Robinson.
Business was brisk at the Sharp reservation office in the 700 block of East Colorado. The firm expected to sell more than 70,000 public seats for today.
"We don't sell out. We can always add additional seating. We just added a grandstand today," employee Lisa Crosby said Monday.
Paying for $342 worth of seats was Roger Jonas of Grand Haven, Mich. He and his wife, Susan, honeymooned at the Rose Parade in 1966. They returned in 1996 and 1998 when daughters Amanda and Jordan marched with the Northwestern University and University of Michigan bands, respectively.
"Our seats are on the north side of the street facing the sun. But I don't need to take pictures this time," Susan Jonas said.
Good thing. A check of the 2,658-seat grandstand in the 300 block of East Colorado where the family has 40th-row seats showed that a line of thick ficus street trees blocks some views.
Word of the tree problem was disheartening to Leann Lampe, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Convention & Business Bureau. But she said the hulking grandstands are taken in stride by most residents.
"Most bleachers stay up about a month. The other 11 months of the year, we have some of the most incredible architecture in the country" along the parade route, she said.