PASADENA (CNS) - All the world loves a parade, and the eyes of the world were on the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena today, which kicked  off under sunny skies, almost-50 degree temperatures, and a precision flyby of  six Air Force Thunderbirds jets.

Parade grand marshal Vin Scully was introduced as the event began at  Colorado and Orange Grove boulevards, and kicked off the festivities with a  trademark “hi everybody, and a very pleasant good day to you...”

“And for now, instead of me throwing out the first pitch, let's start the parade,” said Scully, moments before switching to sunglasses for the ride  east in the brilliant California sun.

The grandstands crowd went wild for the Cal Poly Universities float, “Bedtime Buccaneers,” which stopped to disgorge three motorized space aliens in their own car-sized mini-floats. The aliens then drove back onto the mother transport ship, a ploy that won the students this year's Crown City Innovation Award for best use of imagination and innovation to advance float design.

The Governor's Award for best depiction of life in California went to “Let's Be Neighbors,” a highly-animated effort from the City of Glendale. And the Sweepstakes Award for the most-beautiful entry went to Dole, for its “Sunrise At The Oasis.'

The City of Downey won the Founders' Award, for the most-beautiful float built and decorated by volunteers, for its float, “The Glass Slipper.”

For the first time, two men were to be married on a parade float, watched by many of the 700,000 people in attendance and a U.S. television audience of millions. Protesters against same-sex marriage had called for a boycott of the parade, but two men were wed at the head of the parade, and given the good wishes of TV host Bob Eubanks on KTLA's worldwide broadcast feed.

Scully, the voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for the past 63 years, was the parade's grand marshal and was to toss the kickoff coin. In the first Rose Bowl, in 1902, Stanford lost to Michigan, 49-0.

Other parade trophy winners included the Craftsman Award, for exceptional showmanship in floats longer than 55 feet, to “Lucy's Performing Rescue Dogs” from the Lucy Pet Foundation, Inc.

And activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals planned  to demonstrate against SeaWorld and its float entry, “The Sea of Surprise,”  which includes killer whales -- mammals PETA says should be set free.

The Sea World float had a large number of uniformed police and sheriff's deputies walking next to it. No protestors were visible on the televised coverage of the event, but 16 PETA protesters blocked the float as it rolled towards the parade start, Pasadena police said.