Reneta Deaquino with the Lions Club International entry dances down Colorado… (Arkasha Stevenson, Los…)
The parade wasn't as rosy for some business owners this year.
With fewer people turning out at the Tournament of Roses Parade — held Monday this year instead of Sunday, New Year's Day — some Pasadena business owners reported a noticeable drop in customers.
Coffee shop owner Min Jung is one. Although some venues open at parade time appeared to be doing brisk business, he said sales at his Sabor 2 were off 30%.
"This is the slowest I've seen it in three years. I think maybe the economy has something to do with it," he said. "I've seen a lot of people bringing their own food."
Large pink bakery boxes were a popular accessory among those walking toward the parade route.
"Business has been kind of slow," Zona Rosa Caffe manager Elvia Moreno said. The South El Molino Avenue cafe has been open on parade day for the last 18 years. Moreno blamed the parade's move to Monday.
The never-on-Sunday policy goes back to the late 1800s, when Colorado Boulevard was lined with churches and the Rose Parade organizers didn't want to disturb worship.
One local church was doing brisk business Monday. The folks at First United Methodist Church saw an increase in patrons at their $7 pancake breakfast, serving about 700 people this year. They shrewdly partnered with Sharp Seating Co. to offer the early-morning meal as an advance-purchase option with grandstand seating.
Even if some businesses had fewer customers, the economic boon from the festivities is still substantial. The parade and football game generate an estimated $180 million to $250 million annually for local merchants, restaurants, bars, hotels and airlines, said Bill Flinn, interim executive director for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn.
"These are direct dollars from attendees and participants," Flinn said.
Travel was down slightly from last year because the game was on a Monday, said Sam Soni, president of PrimeSport, the official Rose Bowl hospitality and ticket partner.
Another factor may be that the Green Bay Packers are poised for another run at the Super Bowl. Like the University of Wisconsin's Badgers, who played the University of Oregon's Ducks in the Rose Bowl, the Packers are from Wisconsin.
"That fan base has had several different opportunities in a short window to travel to major sporting events," Soni said.
The travel downturn allowed Wisconsin fans Gary and Elena Johanson of Glendale, Ariz., to make it into town for the Rose Bowl game.
"We planned this at the last minute because flights and the hotel opened up for use with my frequent-flier miles," Gary Johanson said.
Parade-goers from out of town drove in from hotels as far away as Van Nuys and Monterey Park.
Jay Stacy arrived in Anaheim with his wife and children Dec. 29 and spent three days at Disneyland before heading to the Hilton Pasadena. The University of Oregon fans, who live in Helena, Mont., plan to drop some dollars at Pasadena's Paseo Colorado outdoor shopping mall before heading back Jan. 5.
"We don't have a lot of shopping where we live," Stacy said. "So we plan to take advantage of it."
Vroman's book department manager Alfonso Huerta had been seeing lots of tourists leading up to game day. Popular sellers at the Pasadena bookstore were anything having to do with the Rose Parade, the Rose Bowl game or Pasadena history.
East of the parade route, Dick's Sporting Goods on East Foothill Boulevard was open its regular hours.
"Every year the game brings in a lot of business for licensed apparel," store manager Tim Pegnim said. A hot seller this year was a Rose Bowl T-shirt featuring both teams.
Both Euro Pane Bakery locations on Colorado Boulevard were closed for the day. The shop farther east traditionally shuts down during the Rose Parade, and owner Sumi Chang also closed her newer location near City Hall.
"Up until last year, we were open," she said. This year she decided to give her staff a break and let them enjoy the facility as a spot to watch the festivities.
"When I ask my staff to work, they have to be here at like 4 in the morning," she said. Workers must search for parking and may end up several blocks away.
She estimated that Euro Pane will forgo about $2,000 in receipts. "It's not worth it economically," she said, to put up with the logistical hassles.