- Tuesday, January 01, 2019
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, a 130 year old tradition brings residents and visitors together on New Year’s Day (unless it falls on a Sunday) to watch grand floats covered in flowers, massive marching bands that can exceed 300 members, and equestrian units like the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales.
History of the Rose Parade
Pasadena Visitor Hotline
If you have questions during your visit, you can speak to a live person by calling the Visitor Hotline at 1 (877) 793-9911, callers outside of the U.S. dial +1 626-795-9311.
The Melody of Life (Parade Theme)
The Rose Parade establishes a theme every year, all of the participants use the theme as inspiration in the design of their floats. Gerald Freeney, President of the 2019 Tournament of Roses shared said, “celebrates music, the universal language.” “Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”
The parade route is 5.5 miles (9 km) and begins at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. 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 $55 and $100. To purchase tickets contact Sharp Seating Company at 626-795-4171 or SharpSeating.com. Additionally, you can purchase tickets through a local ticket broker called SC Tickets by calling +1 (626) 577-2557.
TIP: Children under 2 years old are allowed to lap-sit, however space is very limited.
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 (Sunday, December 31st), camping is not allowed before that time. At 11:00 PM on the 1st, spectators are allowed to move to a blue honor line marked on the street.
1. Colorado Boulevard from Terrace Drive to Sierra Madre Boulevard Map→
2. Sierra Madre Boulevard to East Villa Street Map→
TIP: Folding chairs and sleeping bags are allowed
Wheelchair Accessible Seating (Paid)
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.
Wheelchair Accessible Seating (Free)
Three viewing areas are reserved by the City of Pasadena for spectators requiring wheelchair accessibility, these are free and available on a first come first serve basis. Fill out this form to request free accessible spaces. Each person with a disability is allowed up to four guests, free with approved application. Seating is not provided; attendees must bring chairs.Form
Arrive by Train
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.
Reserve your parking ahead 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 between East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley (Pasadena is at the center of the route).
Public Access Maps
Public access maps and road closures have not been published yet. Please check back in early December when the Pasadena Police Department makes those maps public. For more information, call the Pasadena Visitor Hotline at (877) 793-9911.
Hotels fill up each year and many require a minimum of three to four nights per reservation. We recommend you reserve a room as early as possible in order to get your first choice. There are different types of hotels that offer different experiences as outlined below.
Langham Huntington Pasadena
Travelers who prefer fine dining, spa services and glamorous surroundings will enjoy the Langham Huntington Pasadena, this is a resort style hotel and it is a little further out from the parade route. More→
dusitD2 Hotel Constance
The Westin is located right in the middle of downtown Pasadena with very easy access to the parade. The hotel consistently receives rave reviews for service, it is located within Plaza Las Fuentes and some rooms feature views of Pasadena’s stunning City Hall. More→
Old Pasadena Courtyard by Marriott
This hotel is located right in Old Pasadena, from this hotel travelers can easily explore the pristine alleyways of this neighborhood and its many restaurants and boutiques. The hotel is located three short blocks from the parade route. More→
Residence Inn Marriott Old Pasadena
This is the newest hotel in town, it is also located in Old Pasadena with easy access to the freeway and the the Rose Bowl Game Shuttles. The Residence Inn features apartment style accommodations great for longer stays and families. Their rooms feature kitchens with stoves and full refrigerators, laundry facilities and a mini grocery store in the lobby. More→
Hilton Honors members can earn points and miles during a visit to Pasadena, Hilton Pasadena is located a block from the Pasadena Convention Center which is where Live on Green takes place, and the hotel is a short walk (two blocks) to the parade route. More→
This hotel is located at the Pasadena Convention Center offering easy access to Live on Green in the days leading up to the parade and game, it is less than a block from the parade route. Details→
TIP: Hotels require a minimum of 3 or 4 nights.
There are also more affordable motels which located near the parade route, view all accommodations→
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 the Rosemont Pavilion and Rose Float Plaza South (Irwindale). 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 2018 parade, three shows takes place at Pasadena City College. Tickets are $15, children 5 and under enter free. Details→
Equestfest: Watch beautiful horses and talented riders perform drills and dances and demonstrate trick riding and roping. Attendees can also stroll through the stables, talk to riders and learn about the various tack and the many different breeds while enjoying the vendor court, displays, great music, food and drinks. Details→
TIP: Get your tickets in advance and avoid ticket lines and sold out events.
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:
Gamble House: Architecture, Historic Craftsman Home Offering Tours
Norton Simon Museum: Prestigious Fine Arts Museum
The Huntington: Museum, World-class Gardens
Kidspace Children’s Museum: Children’s Museum and Family Activities including Noon Year’s Eve
Pasadena Playhouse: Theatre, Musicals
Eaton Canyon: Hiking trails, waterfall, nature center
Brookside Golf Course: Golf adjacent to the Rose Bowl Stadium
Melting Pot Food Tours: Food & 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 Playhouse District
The 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, wine bar, record store and Southern California’s oldest bookstore.
South Lake Avenue
The South Lake Avenue District is a European-style tree lined boulevard where people go to pamper themselves at boutiques and cafes.
Past Parade Highlights
- Tournament of Roses Association
- T: 877-793-9911
- Organizer Website
- Event Website