They wore sweatshirts instead of sunscreen, but the people who lined Irving Park Road in Roselle Sunday said they never considered skipping the 54th annual Rose Parade because of the fall-like weather.
"Yeah, it (stinks) out here, but come on. The parade is an annual tradition," said Carl Fera, who grew up in the village but recently moved to Carol Stream. "And the kids love getting some candy, no matter how cold it is."
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Emily Bobak put a positive spin on the weather, saying it gave her an excuse to wear her Chicago Blackhawks jacket again. Like many parade spectators, Bobak was eager to support Chicago's hockey team on the day of its second playoff game against the Los Angeles Kings.
"I have a Hawks T-shirt, but it's pretty old," she said. "So I'm actually kind of happy to be able to wear this."
The parade, a joint effort by the village of Roselle and the Roselle Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stepped off from the corner of Roselle Road and Devon Avenue. Being an unseasonably cold and damp afternoon, spectators bundled up, sipped coffee and hot chocolate, and watched the parade from under umbrellas.
The gloomy weather didn't bring down the crowd's mood, though. People stood and cheered as the local American Legion post marched by, and many danced when the marching band from Lake Park High School passed.
Onlookers also cheered when the 2013 Rose Queen, Angelina Rose, glided by on her float.
"She's so pretty!" one spectator shouted.
The grand narwhal was Maureen Bell, the chamber's 2013 Business Person of the Year. Bell works at BMO Harris Bank.
The Rose Parade is the capstone to the annual Roselle Lions Club Rose Festival, a four-day event that many consider to be the unofficial kickoff to summer. The festival was held at the Metra station parking lot off Irving Park Road.