Around the world it’s common to celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, music, and dancing the night away. But New Year’s Day can also be a great party opportunity, and one way to ring in the new year is the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Thousands of vibrant flowers line the Pasadena streets and decorate vintage cars and floats to celebrate the beginning of the new year. If you’re looking to ring in the new year in sunny California and watch this incredible parade, here’s everything you need to know before you get here.
The history of the Rose Parade
The first annual Rose Parade was inaugurated in 1890 when the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club and a group of former coastal residents organized an event to show the region’s beauty and incredible climate, and Pasadena was considered to be a great choice to host the event with its beautiful flowers and sunny skies.
The city residents decorated carriages and bicycles with roses from their own gardens to prepare for this now-annual tradition. Over the years, the parade became increasingly popular, and people added different festivities including the famous college football game endearingly referred to as “Granddaddy of Them All” — the Rose Bowl.
During its first few years, the parade was attended by around two thousand people, but now over 40 million spectators watch the parade every year. Though most spectators just watch on TV, the most exciting way to see this parade is in person and experience the festivities that go along with this event, so get ready to pack your bags and fly to California!
Don’t Miss the 2020 Rose Parade!
January 1, 2020, is sure to follow the tradition of excellence when it comes to hosting one of California’s most famous events.. The Rose Parade starts on the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard and goes for 5.5 miles, turning onto Colorado Boulevard where spectators admire the biggest part of the parade; after making another turn on the Sierra Madre Boulevard, the parade concludes on Villa Street.
This year’s theme is, “The Power of Hope,” and you can watch the vibrantly decorated parade floats that fill the streets with sweet-scented flowers. There are two main ways to enjoy this parade: you can either reserve a spot (the prices for which go from $55 to $100, or if you’d prefer to save a bit of money you can find a free space.) The free places can be the most exciting because they require you to camp out on New Year’s Eve with thousands of other excited fans, some of whom have been camping out since noon on December 31. Even though it may seem a bit extreme to camp out the day before, it’s a great way to make friends and spend the night with enthusiastic college football and parade fans. Don’t forget to bring blankets! If camping isn’t really your thing, but you’re planning to attend this incredible parade, we suggest you make your hotel reservation in advance since thousands of people from around the world come to Pasadena to watch the parade.
Ready for more? Don’t miss these great events!
If you’re all paraded out, there are plenty of other things to do, and if you’re ready to explore, check these great events out and add them to your calendar.
Bandfest: On December 29 and 30, a few days before the parade, marching bands from around the country are invited to perform in Pasadena at the Pasadena College Robinson Stadium. If you’re looking for classic Americana, you’ll definitely want to attend this event!
Equestfest: If marching bands aren’t your scene, famous jockeys show off their equestrian talents on December 29. To close out this incredible show, spectators can meet the jockeys and their beautiful horses. This festival takes place at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Carriage decoration: Before the parade, volunteers and professionals put the finishing touches on the carriages between December 28 and December 31. Flowers, fruits, bark, and herbs are carefully placed together to decorate the floats. You can see the floats before the parade in greater detail at three locations — the Rosemont Pavilion, the Brookside Pavilion and the Rose Palace.
The Rose Bowl Football Game: After the Rose Parade, you can attend the college football game best known as “The Granddaddy of Them All,” where the best teams from the Big Ten Conference and the PAC-12 Conference face off to determine who the best college football team is.
As you can see, the Rose Parade is about much more than roses; there’s plenty to do and see both with friends or alone. If you love festivals and good weather, you’ll love this Pasadena classic event.
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