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The Tournament of Roses and the Rose Parade


The Tournament of Roses began in 1890 as a promotional effort by Pasadena's distinguished Valley Hunt Club. The club members envisioned and brought to life a community event in which they could watch games such as chariot races, jousting, foot races, polo and tug-of-war. The abundance of fresh flowers, even in the midst of winter, prompted the club to add a parade that preceded the competition. Entrants decorated their carriages with hundreds of blooms. The Tournament of Roses was officially born. The Tournament of Roses decided to enhance the day’s festivities by adding a football game in 1902.  It was the first post season college football game ever held. Over the years there have been many structural dynamic changes but there are always games and a parade.

The Rose Parade

The Rose Parade takes place in Pasadena, California annually on January 1st. Did you know the parade is now over a hundred years old? Traditionally on New Year's Day floats created with flower petals, seeds, grasses and other plant matter are paraded down Route 66 (also known as Colorado Boulevard.) Each float has a special meaning and represents cities around Southern California, various community organizations and companies. Along with the floats, parade viewers are entertained by marching bands and equestrian teams from around the country.

For four days leading up to the parade, thousands of volunteers help add the flowers and seeds that decorate the parade floats. If you're in town you can join in the fun. The day after the parade the floats are on display along Sierra Madre and Washington Boulevards in Pasadena for public viewing. There is a fee for viewing the floats and street parking is limited.

If you are going to see the parade live it is important to note that there is no curbside viewing of the parade along the televised route on Orange Grove Blvd. from Del Rosa to Colorado Blvd. and on Colorado from Orange Grove to Terrace. You will find plenty of sidewalk areas standing room only and with grandstands. People are allowed to take up positions on the sidewalk starting at noon the day before the parade and move out to the blue line in the street starting at 11 pm New Year's Eve. No tents are allowed. Fore restrictions you can check the Tournament of Roses website.

Posted on Dec 23 2011

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