The crowd, estimated at nearly 1 million, saw the float, heralding this year's theme, "Oh! The Places You'll Go!" and containing 20,000 individual blossoms and 5,000 roses, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
Many in the audience camped out overnight for prime locations along the parade route, with campers traditionally clustered at the start of the parade, the newspaper said.
"We're definitely getting used to the cold," said Ian Dryg, 23, who accompanied colleagues from Purdue University in Indiana to see the parade. "I just wanted to see it in person. It's cool, how they just let us set up (camp) here."
Pasadena police reported no major problems, with only 22 people arrested since Monday evening, mostly for public drunkenness.
As the proportion of families attending the parade has increased in recent years, the number of arrests has declined, police Lt. Rick Aversano said.
"The numbers are down significantly," he said. "People are well-behaved."