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Sidewalk campers spend night waiting for Rose Parade spectacle
Rose Parade Heal
Rose Parade spectators Emily Keaney, left, and Lauren Feldman from Woodland Hills, Calif. prepare to camp overnight, in Pasadena, Calif., Monday, Dec. 31, 2007, to see the Rose Parade on New Years day. - photo by Associated Press

PASADENA, Calif. - Spectators swarmed to the Rose Parade route Tuesday morning, joining thousands of people who had spent New Year's Eve partying along the streets or just camped curbside to stake out their viewing spots.

Twenty-two people were arrested during the night, mostly for drunk-in-public violations, police spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens said.

Some 1,200 law enforcement officers were assigned to the parade to deal with any disruptions. This year's parade, the 119th edition, was expected to include demonstrations.

Members of the Chinese Falun Gong spiritual movement said they would protest the float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and anti-war activists led by "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan said they would demonstrate against President Bush.

The day was expected to be rain-free, with a high of 74. However, wind was likely to gust to 30 mph in Pasadena, and the National Weather Service had posted a red flag warning for parts of Southern California, meaning conditions were ripe for brush fires.

Many in the crowd had come from Illinois to watch the afternoon Rose Bowl football game between No. 6 Southern California and No. 13 Illinois.

Illinois native Jenny Sweer, 43, cuddled up in a sleeping bag in a beach chair waiting for the parade to begin.

"I'm cold and tired. I didn't get much sleep," Sweer said.

Gail Paulson was drawn to the parade route although she is blind.

"There's a lot a blind person can appreciate at this parade. There's electricity in the air, the smell of the flowers, the clomping of the horses," Paulson, 64, of Oxnard, said as her guide dog Elton led her to a seat.


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