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Volunteers unpack thousands of flowers for the floats. Carolynn Jones, foreground, brought her mother, Sue Thomas, center, from Birmingham, Ala., as a surprise gift. Thomas, a retired florist, said it was a lifelong dream to work on a Rose Parade float -- an item on her bucket list. Next on the list for Thomas, 79: hiking the Grand Tetons. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times
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