Now entering its 125th year, the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena is one of America’s most cherished celebrations. The first Rose Parade was held in 1890 in California by a local organization called the Hunt Valley Club. It’s member were looking for a way to promote their Southern California location and its warm year-round weather to people around the country. The Rose Parade quickly grew in size and fame and has become known as “America’s New Year Celebration” held on January 1 every year. The Rose Parade has been also accompanied by the Rose Bowl, a major America college football game, since 1902.
Crowds of eager spectators line the street of the parade rout along the Colorado Avenue starting the night before to get the best views. The parade features floats which are covered with thousands of roses, daisies and other beautiful flowers as well as marching bands and equestrian performers. Horses, carriages and antique cars are also beautifully decorated with flowers.
One float of the parade carries the Queen of the Tournament and six members of the “Royal Court”. Every year, a process starts in September and October to choose the Queen and her court from girls aged 17-21 in the Pasadena area.
After the festival, the float are displayed on two long streets, Sierra Madre and Washington. Spectators can move among them to take photos. In 2014, there were 42 floats, 23 marching bands including drums and trumpets from high schools and 21 equestrian teams. Around 700,000 people attend the Rose Parade each year, with tens of millions more watching it live on television.
Google Map of Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA
People who want to watch the Rose Parade live can buy tickets for grandstands, which are set up along Colorado Avenue. Standing along Colorado Avenue is free and those who come first have the best spot. Therefore, every year, thousands begin taking their positions as early as 1:00 PM the day before. They can bring items such as small cooking grills, blankets, sleeping bags, chairs and radios. However, everything must be cleaned by 7:00 AM on the morning of the parade.
The 126th annual Rose Parade has the theme “Dreams Come True”. It will take place on January 1, 2015 at 8:00 a.m in Pasadena, California, USA. See you there!