Float decorators, fans prep for chilly Rose Parade

In this Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014 photo, the Maui High School "Saber" marching band and color guard, from Kahului on the island of Maui in Hawaii, performs at Bandfest, a pre-Rose Parade event featuring every marching band that will appear in the Jan. 1, 2015, Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Pasadena Star-News) (AP Photo/The Pasadena Star-News, Walt Mancini)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP/WTNH) — As Danelle Jacobs and a crew of volunteers decorated their Rose Parade float, strong winds from a blustery winter storm blew flowers into the air. The scaffolding bounced. Then the power went out.

For the first time in 30 years, the team decided to suspend decorating for the night.

“This was the worst we had seen,” she said.

A cold air mass moving into Southern California could make Thursday’s Rose Parade one of the coldest on record. Jacobs and other volunteers rushed to put the final roses and carnations in place Wednesday after halting operations the night before. And officials advised the thousands expected to line the streets to dress in layers and drink plenty of warm liquids as temperatures hover around freezing in the early morning hours.

The frigid weather did not stop dozens of people from lining up early Wednesday to claim spots along the parade route.

“We’re going to have a clear day and it’ll be cool and brisk, but I think people are just going to really enjoy the excitement of the Rose Parade,” said Richard Chinen, president of the 2015 Tournament of Roses.

The New Year’s Day parade will feature 39 floats highlighting historic figures, celebrities and popular culture around the theme “Inspiring Stories.” Cast members from “The Love Boat” will ride on a Princess Cruises float while stars from “The Bachelor” will appear on another.

World War II hero and former Olympian Louis Zamperini was named grand marshal of the parade last year. Zamperini is the subject of a best-selling book and the movie “Unbroken,” directed by Angelina Jolie and now in theaters.

Zamperini died in July, but his son and daughter will marshal the parade in his place.

“He really is the embodiment of inspiring stories, and there was no way we were going to change that,” Chinen said.

The parade will be followed by the College Football Playoff at the Rose Bowl game, where second-seeded Oregon will face third-seeded Florida State.

Editor’s Note: The Tournament of Roses Parade airs on News 8 starting at 11:00 a.m., followed by the Citrus Bowl between Missouri and Minnesota.  The Rose Bowl airs on ESPN at 8:00 p.m.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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