New Year’s Day Staple: The Rose Parade

Band Tournament Rose Parade

The world famous New Year’s celebration of The Rose Parade in Pasadena California will once again be delighting audiences staying in Hollywood and the LA area this year on January 1st. Now announcing the 125th annual parade, presented by Honda, the Tournament of the Roses Parade is a significant part of the city’s history and something that people prepare for all year round. An amazing display of floats covered in flowers, marching bands and equestrian teams parade through the city prior to the Rose Bowl College Football game. Over one hundred thousand spectators line the parade route to see the sights in person, but millions more watch via television as the Parade is broadcast out to over two hundred countries internationally.

The Parade was started in 1890, with the Rose Bowl College Football game tradition being added in 1902 to help with the costs of funding the massive parade event. Since 1890, the Parade has taken place every New Year’s Day, January 1st, unless the 1st is a Sunday in which case it is moved to Monday January 2nd. Members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club started the Parade as a way of showing that the climate in California is so amazingly temperate all year round. Many of the Hunt Club members had moved to California from the East and Midwest and were impressed that while other states had snow, they could still have fresh flowers and fruiting trees even in January. After its first five years, in 1895, the Parade had grown too large for the Hunt Club to manage independently, so the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association was created.

For the 2014 parade, 45 floats have been announced including new entries by Sea World and eHarmony. Each float will be decorated to suit the theme: Dreams Come True. Floats compete for twenty-four different awards for various categories including decoration and interpretation of the theme, and at the end of the parade the floats are parked near Victory Park to be displayed for one and a half days for photographs and public viewing.

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