- Friday, January 01, 2016
Tournament of Roses
In the days leading up to the new year, 700,000 people from all over the world converge onto Pasadena to witness the Tournament of Roses, and millions of others watch from all over the world because it is covered by several television networks. While the Tournament of Roses is made up of several events, the two most famous events are the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game.
The Rose Parade has been a tradition for 127 years, where residents and visitors gather in Pasadena on New Year’s Day (unless it falls on a Sunday) to watch impressive and creative floats covered in flowers, top marching bands that can exceed 300 members, and equestrian units like the Anheuser Busch Budweiser Clydesdales and the Valley Hunt Club.
Parade Theme — “Find Your Adventure”
The Rose Parade establishes a theme every year, all of the participants use the theme as inspiration in the design of their floats. The theme this year is Find Your Adventure, it is inspired by a unique partnership between the Tournament of Roses and U.S. National Park Service in honor of the National Parks Service’s centennial celebration. The two organizations aim to preserve history, and encourage others to learn, experience, and discover the beauty that surrounds their 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.
There are a couple of ways to experience the parade; you can camp out for a free spot in designated areas throughout the route; or you can purchase tickets to sit in bleachers (grandstand seats).
Grandstand tickets go on sale beginning February 1st until December 31st, prices vary based on location and they cost between $48 and $95. To purchase tickets contact Sharp Seating Company at 626-795-4171 or SharpSeating.com. Additionally, you can purchase tickets for $95 through a local ticket broker called SC Tickets by calling +1 (626) 577-2557.
TIP: Call SC Tickets at (626) 577-2557 and mention “Visitors Bureau” for a discount of $75, instead of $95. This offer is valid on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 and subject to change at the discretion of SC Tickets.
Free Curbside Seating
Free curbside seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis at three stretches along the parade route, described below. People camp out for a spot as early as 12:00 Noon the day before the parade (Thursday, December 31st) — camping is not allowed before that time. At 11:00 PM on the 31st, spectators are allowed to move to a blue honor line marked on the street.
2. Colorado Boulevard from Terrace Drive to Sierra Madre Boulevard View map…
3. Sierra Madre Boulevard to East Villa Street View map…
TIP: Children under 2 years old are allowed to lap-sit. Folding chairs and sleeping bags are allowed.
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: Wheelchair accessible tickets are first-come, first-served.
Reserve your parking a head of time in order to find the most convenient spaces at the best prices.
Car and RV Parking
RV and Overnight Parking
Brookside Park is located across from Rose Bowl Stadium, they offer RV parking and overnight parking, call 626-577-3100.
Limousine and Bus
Blanchard Parking offers parking for limousines and buses, call 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 to consider.
Public Access Maps
Download the following public access maps for street closures and parking restrictions throughout the city.
Before and After the Parade
The Tournament of Roses puts on several events before and after the Rose Parade. They are commonly referred to as “Pre-parade” and “Post-parade”.
Float Decorating: Watch as float decorators put the final touches on this year’s floats at three pavilions, the Rose Palace, Rosemont Pavilion, and Brookside Pavilion. These pavilions are permanent buildings where decorators work throughout the entire year 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, three shows takes place at Pasadena City College. Tickets are $15, children 5 and under enter free. More details…
TIP: Get your tickets in advance and avoid ticket 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. More info…
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 (cycling studio), and Contessa Chocolate Collection (patisserie).
Pasadena Visitor Hotline
If you have questions during your visit, you can speak to a live person by calling the Visitor Hotline at 877-793-9911 (outside of the US, +1 626-795-9311). You can also follow the Visitor Hotline on Facebook and Twitter for live updates. The Visitor Hotline is open during the following hours:
Visitor Hotline Hours of Operation (Pacific Time)
Tuesday, December 29th — 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday, December 30th — 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Thursday, December 31st — 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Friday, January 1st — 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Reference Guide to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game
Have more questions? Download the Visitor Hotline Reference Guide 2015-2016 or call the Pasadena Visitors Hotline at (877) 793-9911.
- Tournament of Roses Association
- T: 877-793-9911
- Organizer Website
- Event Website