There are many traditions surrounding the "ringing in" of a new year. Watching Dick Clark host the Rockin' New Years Eve (what a brave man to continue to participate in this given all his recent health challenges) and eating black-eyed peas for good luck on New Year's Day. My celebration each year, no matter whether in the comfort of my home or at a party, includes watching the ball drop in New York's Times Square. This year's festivities seemed to be like all the college bowl games - sponsored by a high-paying company. Target provided tons of "word-fetti" that dropped from the sky, and special glasses that would make the fireworks display during the ball drop appear like miniature Target bullseyes. Marketing is everywhere.
I've never been to New York and although attending the New Year's Eve party in Times Square seems to be one of those things you want to do at least once, it simply isn't that appealing to me. Now, if I was safely tucked away in Trump Tower and could view it away from the maddening crowds, I'm there. Maybe it's a sign I'm getting older, but I've had friends give me reports of their experiences from the Times Square front lines and it's not my idea of the grandest way to ring in the new year.
Now, one of my other favorite traditions for New Year celebrations, is watching the Tournament of Roses Parade. As a small child, my Mom and I would never miss this broadcast. CBS used to be the only station that carried the coverage - with Bob Barker as host no less - but now it's shown on multiple stations, even on HGTV with no commercial interruptions. Since my name, and my Mom's name, was Rose, I thought this parade was just for me! I was fascinated by how they built the floats and loved the fact that the parade lasted for two hours!
As those organically-laden floats moved down Orange Grove Boulevard, I dreamed of being in those grandstands watching it live in sunny Southern California. Odds were the weather on January 1 in Kentucky wasn't as pleasant as it was in Pasadena. This year I relished the parade even in the multiple reruns of it on the Travel Channel when I was lacking in other good New Year's Day viewing. One day, I hope to attend the Rose Parade live and in person.
Times Square or Pasadena? I'd definitely choose Pasadena.