Mention South Pasadena to someone from just about anywhere else and they will likely think you are referring to the southern part of Pasadena. On the contrary, South Pas, as it’s known in these parts, is a separate entity, much smaller and with a far different sensibility than its more well-known neighbor to the north.
A small town in the midst of the urban gridlock that is associated with so much of Los Angeles County, South Pas has none of the flash people usually associate with L.A. although it is a favorite of location scouts looking to recreate middle-America for television and film productions.
People are passionate here. They care deeply about things like historic preservation and downtown revitalization and public schools. Perhaps, most remarkably, they have fought for decades to stop a proposed freeway extension (and this in the land of the freeway!) from being allowed to pass through their community.
It makes perfect sense, then, that in an era in which the 120-year-old Tournament of Roses is dominated by corporate sponsors and panders to the television media, that South Pasadena continues to produce the oldest, non-corporate, self-made float in the Rose Parade.
Happy New Year!