PASADENA, Calif. – Sleepy spectators huddled around curbside barbecues to await the start of the 116th Rose Parade (search), as organizers prepared floats depicting everything from a towering robot to a 207-foot locomotive.
Spectators lugged sleeping bags, portable heaters, folding chairs and other creature comforts as temperatures dipped into the low 40s early Saturday.
Jennifer Betanzourt, 27, pitched a tent and set up a barbecue grill for a meal of carne asada, hamburgers and Italian sausage — and for heat.
"It's fun seeing all the crazy people going up and down the street," she said.
Police said they arrested at least 23 people during the night for investigation of public drunkenness and other charges. No major injuries were reported.
The lineup for this year's parade featured 50 flower-covered floats that reflect its "Celebrate Family" theme, along with 25 marching bands and 26 equestrian units. Disney icon Mickey Mouse is serving as grand marshal.
The floats — costing as much as $350,000 each — range from fanciful to spectacular.
An entry by Disneyland (search) will lead the procession. The replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle stands 45 feet high and celebrates the upcoming 50th anniversary of the theme park.
A 50-foot robot marks the first Rose Parade entry from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. It depicts a robot astronaut with a jet pack that fires carbon dioxide gas.
American Honda will field the longest float in Rose Parade history — a 207-foot locomotive.
Forecasters predicted a 20 percent chance of rain for the parade and Rose Bowl game. It hasn't rained on the parade since 1955.
"We're ready for the judges, we're ready for the parade, and we're ready for the rain to go away," said Larry Palmer, a spokesman for float builder Phoenix Decorating Co.
Later in the day, Big Ten co-champion Michigan will meet the Texas Longhorns in the 91st Rose Bowl game. Texas is making its debut in the nation's oldest bowl game.
Directors of the game will allow donations to be accepted inside the stadium to aid victims of the devastating tsunami in southern Asia. The Red Cross (search) will have eight donation stations accessible only to game ticket holders, said Dereck Andrade, a spokesman for the group's San Gabriel Valley chapter.
Security will be tight at the parade and game; about 1,000 officers from several law enforcement agencies will be on patrol.
"Some of it will be very visible and some will be absolutely invisible," said Janet Pope, a spokeswoman for the Pasadena Police Department.