- Friday, January 01, 2016
In the days leading up to New Year’s, 700,000 people from all over the world converge onto Pasadena to witness the Tournament of Roses, or more commonly known as the Rose Parade, and with help of television, so many more people witness it from all over the world. The Rose Parade is a Pasadena tradition dating back 127 years, it is a spectacular festival of floats covered in flowers, marching bands, and equestrians.
Find Your Adventure is the theme of the Rose Parade this year, it is inspired by a unique partnership between the Tournament of Roses and U.S. National Park Service (National Parks Service celebrates its centennial in 2016). The two organizations aim to preserve history, and encourage others to learn, experience, and discover the beauty that surrounds your lives through real-life experiences. “Find Your Adventure,” whether it’s hiking a mountain, visiting one of America’s national parks, or exploring a historic site in your own neighborhood.
TIP: Visit National Parks Service’s large pavilion at Live on Green from December 29th through 31st. One of many inspiring exhibits is Ranger Doug’s Airstream, the aluminum trailer pays homage to National Parks Service with murals on the interior walls based off of the famous National Parks Service posters, and furnishings in the style of a log cabin. Ranger Doug drives his Airstream around the country collecting vintage NPS posters and donates them back to the NPS. More info…
The parade route is 5.5 miles (9 km) and begins at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard. The route travels north on Orange Grove Boulevard at a leisurely pace and then turns east onto Colorado Boulevard. Near the end of the route, the parade turns north onto Sierra Madre Boulevard and concludes at Villa Street.
TIP: The duration of the Rose Parade is two hours from any given point.
Grandstand seats can be purchased from February 1st through December 31st, by contacting Sharp Seating Company at 626-795-4171 or SharpSeating.com. Free curbside seating is available north of Tournament House on Orange Grove Boulevard to Del Rosa; Colorado Boulevard from Terrace to Sierra Madre Boulevard; Sierra Madre Boulevard to end of parade route. Curbside seating opens at 12 Noon on December 31st on a first-come-first-served basis. After 11:00 PM, spectators can move up to the blue “honor line” (a blue line marked on the street). Folding chairs and sleeping bags are allowed.
TIP: Children under 2 years old are allowed to lap-sit.
Wheelchair Accessible Seating
There are three street-level and sidewalk-level accessible viewing locations. Contact Robert Gorski with the City of Pasadena by phone 626-744-7673 or email email@example.com for an application form and map. Each person with a disability is allowed up to four guests, free with approved application. Seating is not provided; attendees must bring chairs. Sharp Seating sells a limited amount of wheelchair accessible seating at different locations along the parade route. Contact Sharp Seating for information at 626-795-4171.
TIP: Tickets are first-come, first-served.
Car and RV
RV and Overnight
In addition to RV parking, Brookside Park at Rose Bowl Stadium is available for overnight parking at 626-577-3100.
Limousine and Bus
Limo and bus parking is available through Blanchard Parking at 626-397-4220.
TIP: Parking sells out each year, for the best experience make sure to arrange parking ahead of time. Consider taking the Metro Gold Line, it is a light rail train that runs to Pasadena from East Los Angeles through Downtown Los Angeles and up through Northeast Los Angeles (NELA).
Pasadena offers different styles of hotels for travelers, the more traditional traveler who prefers fine dining, spa services and glamorous surroundings will stay at the Langham Huntington Pasadena, it is a little further out from the parade route. A modern traveler who prefers metropolitan and hip environs with a touch of history might consider the DusitD2 Hotel Constance in Pasadena’s Playhouse District, this hotel is on the parade route. The frequent traveler who wants to earn points when traveling for work and pleasure has several options, Westin, Sheraton, Hilton, and the Courtyard by Marriott are all within walking distance of the parade rout. The authentic traveler will enjoy the Bissell House and the Arroyo Vista Inn, these are not within walking distance to the parade route.
TIP: Hotels require a minimum of 3 nights.
Additionally, there are more affordable motels and inns which located near the parade route, view all accommodations…
The Metro Gold Line will run throughout the night of December 31st and morning of January 1st. Trains run every 7 minutes from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM between Downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena. There are four stations on the parade route, Memorial Park, Del Mar, Lake, and Allen.
TIP: Take public transportation if you can, traffic is heavy during the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, and there are street closures.
Pre and Post Events
The Tournament of Roses puts on several events before and after the Rose Parade.
Float Decorating: View the final stages of this year’s floats being decorated at three pavilions, the Rose Palace, Rosemont Pavilion, and Brookside Pavilion. These pavilions are permanent buildings where decorators throughout the entire year work to build floats for the parade.
Bandfest features marching bands from all over the country that have been selected to march in the 2016 parade, the event takes place at Pasadena City College.
Equestfest: Spend the afternoon with the equestrians chosen to participate in the parade.
TIP: Get your tickets in advance and avoid long lines and sold out events.
Other Activities Throughout Pasadena
The entire city comes together to provide travelers plenty of things to do in Pasadena, in the week leading into the tournament, Pasadena’s cultural institutions and entertainment venues extend their hours and put on extra programming. Must-dos include:
Live on Green (Free, Family-Friendly Festival)
Gamble House (Architecture, Historic Craftsman Home Offering Tours)
Norton Simon Museum (Prestigious Fine Arts Museum)
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (Museum, World-class Gardens)
Kidspace Children’s Museum (Children’s Museum and Family Activities)
Pasadena Playhouse (Theatre, Musicals)
Eaton Canyon (Hiking)
Brookside Golf Course (Golf)
Melting Pot Food Tours (Foodie & Architecture Tour)
Downtown Pasadena Districts
Downtown Pasadena is made up of three unique districts offering shopping, dining and entertainment.
Old Pasadena‘s brick alleyways are lined with boutiques like Mohawk General Store, Joie, and Vince.
The Pasadena Playhouse District is an artsy neighborhood surrounding California’s state theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse — this is the performing arts hub featuring Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Ice House Comedy Club, as well as coffee shops, and wine bars.
The South Lake Avenue District is a European-style tree lined boulevard where people go to pamper themselves at boutiques like Olive & June (nail salon), Drybar (blow dry bar), SoulCycle (yoga-esque cycling studio), and Contessa Chocolate Collection (patisserie).
- Tournament of Roses
- Event Website