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updated: 6/1/2014 11:19 PM

Through rain and shine, Rose Parade marches on

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  • 2014 Rose Queen Sharon Abraham, left, waves to the crowd Sunday as her float travels down the route of 55th annual Rose Parade in Roselle.

       2014 Rose Queen Sharon Abraham, left, waves to the crowd Sunday as her float travels down the route of 55th annual Rose Parade in Roselle.
    Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • Marchers from the American Legion join the procession on Roselle Road near Devon Avenue during Sunday's 55th annual Rose Parade in Roselle.

       Marchers from the American Legion join the procession on Roselle Road near Devon Avenue during Sunday's 55th annual Rose Parade in Roselle.
    Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

  • U.S. Army Specialist Mike Coombs kneels before the battlefield cross Sunday on the American Legion Women's Auxiliary float during Roselle's 55th annual Rose Parade.

       U.S. Army Specialist Mike Coombs kneels before the battlefield cross Sunday on the American Legion Women's Auxiliary float during Roselle's 55th annual Rose Parade.
    Steve Zalusky | Staff Photographer

 

Roselle's 55th annual Rose Parade began in a burst of police sirens and fire alarms.

As if on cue, rain promptly began falling from the sky, drenching the crowd lining Roselle Road just south of Devon Avenue.

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Fortunately for spectators, sunshine quickly followed.

Some in the crowd were prepared, armed, like Chuck Adams, with umbrellas.

"We try to park close and always bring an umbrella," he said.

Others, like Roselle resident Marcia Sullivan, were armed with philosophy.

"What's a parade without rain?" she asked.

Spectators were treated to a spectacle that included bagpipers, karate demonstrators, hopeful political candidates, American Legion auxiliary members, the Jesse White Tumblers and 2014 Rose Queen Sharon Abraham and her court.

Some, like Patti Rojek and her 5-year-old son Sam, who live within walking distance, made sure they arrived early to get a good view, setting out camping chairs and waiting for the procession.

For Sam, it was his first parade, while Patti said it was the first time she had been back to see the Rose Parade in 20 years.

"It's nice to see your neighbors come out here and check out what's going on in the neighborhood," she said.

For Sue Caravello, it wasn't necessary to stake a claim. She just simply opened up her garage door and took a seat, while family gathered around her. It has been a family tradition since the late 1960s, giving her a chance to experience the parade not only with her children but her children's children as well.

Her son, Steve, said it is not unusual for 50 to 60 people to show up at the house for the event. One of the advantages of a ringside location is "a lot o' candy," he said, referring to the packaged sweets liberally strewed along the parade route.

Gail Croson, executive director of the Roselle Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said she particularly enjoys being part of the community during the event. The chamber puts on the parade in partnership with the village.

The Rose Queen, Abraham, 18, from Bloomingdale, said she was excited to have family watching her in the parade.

"It's just nice to be able to come out in the sunshine and see everybody be so active in the community," she said. She was in Schaumburg's Septemberfest Parade as a Girl Scout, but this is the first time she appeared on a float, she said. The Lake Park High School student said she will be attending Drake University in Iowa.

Another float contained members of the American Legion Women's Auxiliary Post 1084 in Roselle. The float included a battlefield cross -- a helmet, rifle and boots -- in honor of fallen soldiers. Joining them on the float was U.S. Army Specialist Mike Coombs of Streamwood.

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