Once the Parade Is Over, the Real Work Begins



On Friday, January 1, 2010 at 8:00am, millions of spectators around the world celebrated the New Year with the 121st Rose Parade, themed 2010: A Cut above the Rest. With nearly a half mile of the 5.5-mile parade route and the greatest concentration of spectators along the route running through the heart of Old Pasadena, the volume of trash left behind is enormous. Yet before noon on New Year’s Day, less than two hours after the last float passed through Old Pasadena, the District was completely clean. With a team of less than 20 people, Anna Addis, VP of Operations for Old Pasadena Management District (OPMD) had the streets and sidewalks spic and span. By noon, merchants were able to open for business without their patrons having to step over trash and debris.


Anna developed her own post-parade cleanup plan three years ago. Using push brooms, leaf blowers, one street sweeper, trash bags and good old-fashioned elbow grease, Anna and her team of 10 Ambassador Guides from Block-by-Block and 3 Clean Street team members initiated the plan right after the end of the parade. Two Block-by-Block staff members were assigned to each block of Colorado Boulevard in Old Pasadena.

Anna and each Block-by-Block staff member were armed with a broom or leaf blower, and together they pushed all of the trash off the sidewalks into the street. From there, the Clean Street crew picked up the trash using the street sweeper and large trash bags. Before noon, the boulevard was clean and ready for business. The transformation is nothing short of amazing, as the attached pictures will attest. The work is not limited to Colorado Boulevard. All of the streets within the 21-block Historic Business District were addressed after Colorado Boulevard is clean.


Jack Huang, owner of several restaurants in the District (Villa SORRISO, Bar Celona, and ix-tapa Cantina), said that he cannot believe how quickly Anna and her crew got things back into shape in the District. “I saw Anna and the Ambassadors pushing brooms on New Year’s Day and it seemed like in no time at all the area was completely cleaned up. All you have to do is look across Arroyo Parkway from our new restaurant ix-tapa Cantina on Colorado Blvd. to see how aggressively OPMD attacks the issue within the District. Colorado Boulevard is a mess from Arroyo Parkway east. The difference is night and day.”


Alec Klebanov, Store Manager of Starbucks Coffee said, “Although we stayed open all night, we are so busy that we had no time to deal with the trash in front of our store, and it was terrible. The OPMD team jumped on it the minute the parade is over and we really appreciate their effort. It sure enhances the image of our store and Old Pasadena to have the streets and sidewalks free of trash and debris so quickly.”

This cleanup effort is just another example of the work OPMD does on behalf of the property owners, residents and visitors of Old Pasadena. Getting the clean up done so soon after the parade not only enhances the image of the City but it helps boost the revenue Old Pasadena merchants receive from the Rose Bowl events. It also makes it a more pleasant environment for our residents.

If you have any comments or suggestions with regard to this or any other subject, feel free to contact OPMD at (626) 356-9725 or email Anna Addis.

Happy New Year!

Posted by:  Anna Addis, VP of Operations, OPMD

For more photos of the pre-parade and parade spectacle, the LATimes has two comprehensive photo galleries online. Check out the gorgeous “panoramic views” that the LATimes has created in 360 degrees from several different points of view before and during the parade.  The Whittier Daily News also reported on the enormity of the post-parade cleanup.

Parade Route Campout

Parade Route Campout

Clean Street Street Sweeper

Clean Street Street Sweeper

Clean Street trash pick-up

Clean Street trash pick-up

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4 Responses to “Once the Parade Is Over, the Real Work Begins”

  1. Cafe Pasadena Says:

    Congratulations! But, the streets must’ve been spic & span only in your district. Not ours.
    Our sidewalks were anything but s & s as of yesterday.

  2. jswartz Says:

    Precisely, we are very proud of our quick and thorough response to clean up the Old Pasadena Business District. Unfortunately, the process is a little more sluggish for areas to our east and west. Happy New Year to you!

  3. Petrea Burchard Says:

    This is a great story. I’ve been impressed in years past at how quickly all the trash is picked up all over the city. Sorry to hear your story this year, Cafe. Surprised, too. But you wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.

    All the trash amazes me. Does the City not provide enough trash receptacles? Do people have no choice but to throw their trash wherever it lands?

  4. jswartz Says:

    Hi Petrea,

    I caught the photo of all the trash along Colorado Blvd. in your Zen Monday post last week. It’s amazing, isn’t it? At any rate, the City of Pasadena requires the removal of all news stands, benches, and trash receptacles in preparation for the parade route crowds. The trash cans are removed in part to make room, but also because they are not bolted down. I think that the City is concerned that they could pose a danger if people were to begin throwing them around.

    Precisely because there are no trash cans (they wouldn’t make a dent in the amount of trash generated anyway), we have developed such an immediate and aggressive plan to get it all cleaned up. We are continually looking at improving the process so stay tuned next year and hopefully we will have some additional solutions to incorporate.

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