Thanks, Rose Bowl Parade, For The Trash!

More Trash

As most of you know yesterday was a big day here in Pasadena because of the annual Rose Bowl Parade. People started camping out on Colorado Blvd. 12pm the day before the parade. And while I won’t fault anyone for wanting to see an army of Storm Troopers and some incredible floats there is another reason to be bothered by the impact the parade has on the city. The amount of trash sprawled throughout the city streets not only looked like the aftermath of a riot but showed a lack of decency from our fellow American neighbors.

Thanks, Rose Bowl Parade, For The Trash!

My buddy Seth and I went out for a ride yesterday to survey the damage done to Colorado BLVD, and I must say it was rather shocking. What makes it okay to treat public space like a trash dump? Every inch of Colorado from Sierra Madre down to Arroyo Parkway is covered with heaps of trash. We saw piles of burned charcoal, aluminum cans of silly string, thousands of starbucks mugs, bags of trash, and plastic cups to name some of the junk. It’s hard to believe that adults really treat a city like that, especially since most of them were just visiting pasadena. Strangely enough, all of Old Town (Pasadena’s shopping district on Colorado BLVD) was completely clean. Some have said that each person who camps out creates one weeks’ worth of trash in just one night, I am not sure if that’s true but it sure looked like it.
See more photos here.

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Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

3 thoughts on “Thanks, Rose Bowl Parade, For The Trash!”

  1. Years ago, I went to a large Campus Crusade for Christ rally in Kansas City with many thousands of college students present. One thing that impressed me is that the leaders urged us to pick up after ourselves, be polite within the community, even tip our housekeepers generously. We left that city with a great impression of how Christians behave. They even made mention of it in the local papers.

  2. I was thinking of taking pictures of the trash too. I’m glad someone documented it. The turn onto Sierra Madre is part of my commute to work and I was amazed at the amounts of trash on the streets on Tuesday night — we had to take a friend to the Burbank airport — as well as how clean they were just a few hours later. It’s kind of spooky how much we can litter and how quickly someone else can clean up after us.

  3. @Pistol – thanks for the point you made. It helps to shed light on an underlying point I was trying to make (without actually stating it). That I think this (Rose Bowl) is not the way the church ought to behave – and I wonder whether the Christians who were there acted differently and more in line with your example or more in line with the status quo.

    @Tyler – great point about how quickly someone else cleans up our mess – I think this is probably part of the reason why there is a lack of decency in our culture. We leave our trash in all kinds of public spaces, stores and restaurants and letting someone else take care of the mess for us.

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