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Latest: Flowers, fun as Rose Parade rolls under sunny skies

January 1, 2018

FILE--In this Jan. 1, 2015, file photo, the U.S Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard participates in the 126th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Only a few clouds are expected Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, in Pasadena as the city plans to celebrate the 129th Rose Parade, and temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s.(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, file)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Southern California’s Rose Parade (all times local):

8:00 a.m.

The Rose Parade is underway under blue skies in Southern California.

The 129th annual parade got started Monday in Pasadena with an announcement by the grand marshal, actor Gary Sinise, and a military flyover.

The theme of the 2018 parade is “Making a Difference,” and Sinise was chosen because of his devotion to veteran’s issues.

The parade features 39 flower-covered floats, 20 equestrian groups and 20 marching bands. Among them are bands from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Georgia, the teams competing in Monday’s Rose Bowl.

No major problems were reported after security and other safety measures were beefed up as revelers lined up along the parade route starting Sunday.

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5:30 a.m.

Overnight temperatures in the low 40s (around 5 degrees Celsius) didn’t deter some hearty souls from camping out in Southern California to secure the best spots for the 129th annual Rose Parade.

Dozens of people bundled up and slept along the parade route in Pasadena where floats decked out with hundreds of thousands of flowers will begin drifting by at 8 a.m. on New Year’s morning.

Those who braved the cold will be rewarded by daytime highs Monday in the mid-70s (about 23 Celsius) and sunny skies.

The theme of the 2018 parade is “Making a Difference” and actor Gary Sinise is the grand marshal, chosen because of his devotion to veteran’s issues.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said there are no known threats to the parade but that fan safety will remain first priority and security will be tight.

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