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U.S. Rings in New Year With The Traditional, Bizarre With AM-1992, Bjt

January 2, 1992

Undated (AP) _ Americans from New York, New York, to New York, Texas, and points beyond greeted 1992 with traditional celebrations and bizarre rituals.

A million or so lined the streets of Pasadena, Calif., for the 103rd Tournament of Roses. Some hit the ski slopes. And from coast to coast it was time for some people to strip down to bathing suits and jump into really, really cold water.

In Colorado, more than 130 plunged into Boulder Reservoir - once a hole was cut through 4-inch-thick ice. Felicia Rouillard stayed in for 36 minutes, 30 seconds, beating the Boulder Polar Bear Club record by 10 minutes.

″It’s a fun way to start the new year,″ said Trygve Bauge, the club’s president. ″This is a very strong natural high, particularly if you’re fully submerged. It gives you an increased awareness of the present.″

Twelve hours after the ball dropped at New York City’s Times Square, 76- year-old Vic Boff was dropping into the Atlantic Ocean off Coney Island. It was his last dip as a member of Iceberg swim club the before moving to Cape Coral, Fla.

″It’ll feel a lot different,″ he said. ″When you make changes there’s always a challenge - like getting used to the warm water down there.″

The scene was repeated in Atlantic City, N.J., and in San Francisco, where about 60 people took part in the 1.3-mile New Year’s Day Alcatraz Swim. Unlike the others, the San Francisco swimmers had a warm sauna waiting.

Things were a little more sedate in tiny New York, Texas, where no one seems to recall ever having a rowdy New Year’s celebration. Rowena Scholars spent a few hours with her granddaughter, but it wasn’t much of a party.

″I’d like to be able to tell you we were going to have a big parade or something, but I can’t,″ she said. ″There’s not much going on here.″

Not so in the Los Angeles area. Despite efforts to stop a holiday tradition of shooting off guns, at least 16 people were hurt by falling bullets, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

In Michigan, skiers took to the slopes at Boyne Highlands ski resort despite less than ideal conditions.

″We’re pretty busy,″ spokeswoman Tina Radle said. ″Our slopes are pretty full even though it’s misty and kind of icy.″

At the Tournament of Roses, American Indians protested honoring a descendant of Christopher Columbus as the parade’s co-grand marshal and animal-rights activists staged a small demonstration. But, except for some stalled floats, there were few hitches.

In Philadelphia, about 25,000 people marched in the annual Mummers Parade, which included the usual cast of female impersonators, feathered sun gods and gaily decorated floats.

The Murray Comic Club displayed a Persian Gulf war motif, complete with a ″Stormin’ Norman,″ President Bush and caddy Saddam Hussein playing a ″gulf″ course.

The parade, first held in 1901, has its roots in centuries-old European celebrations in which men dressed as women, women as men and poor as rich.

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