Pasasdena Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game: A Grand Tradition

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The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade has been a grand tradition each New Year’s Day since 1890.  When the parade debuted, 2,000 citizens were on hand to witness history in the making.  Today, more than 1 million spectators line the parade route, while an additional 450 million people in more than 100 countries watch it on television.
The tradition began in 1890 when the Valley Hunt Club voted to stage a parade with flower-laden horse and buggies.  Following the parade, young men competed in foot races and tugs of war.  But it was the game of tourney of rings -- a game in which mounted horsemen, carrying 12-foot lances, tried to spear three rings hung 30 feet apart while riding at top speed -- from which the parade got its name.
The tourney of rings, coupled with the floral displays, prompted the parade’s first president to say,” Now we have the name we want -- The Tournament of Roses.”
The Tournament of Roses Association was formed in 1895 and has been in charge of organizing the monumental event ever since.  Today, the Tournament of Roses has a full-time staff of 18 and more than 900 volunteers.
In 1902, the first Rose Bowl Game was played at Tournament Park, where the University of Michigan defeated Stanford University, 49-0.  In 1922, the famous Rose Bowl was built in the beautiful Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena.  Each year, more than 92,000 fans jam the stadium to cheer on their favorite college football team. Every Tournament of Roses Parade features more than 100 marching bands, equestrian units and, elaborate, colorful floats.  Floats must be completely covered with flowers and floral material.  An average float requires as many as 100,000 blossoms and can cost upwards of $250,000.
Pasadena will welcome 2013 with floral pomp and circumstance as the 124nd Tournament of Roses Parade marches down Colorado Boulevard on Saturday, January 1, 2013. The theme, “Oh The Places We'll Go"...” will be the inspiration for the magnificent floats, marching bands and equestrian units. More than 1 million people will line the streets to watch as the Tournament of Roses Queen, Royal Court and floats cruise the 5.5- mile parade route.
Following the parade, thousands of spectators will flock to the Rose Bowl Stadium for the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi.  The Granddaddy of Them All® will feature a match up between Wisconsin and Stanford, two championship teams, showcasing the best of collegiate football.
The Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau is a non-profit marketing organization dedicated to promoting Pasadena as a desirable meeting, convention and leisure travel destination.  For more information and assistance in planning meetings and special events in Pasadena, contact the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 307-7977 or log on to