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Day 231: Rose Parade Quick Facts

Day 231: Rose Parade Quick Facts

2009 rose parade nar float
National Associationof Realtors float in 2009


New Year’s Eve in Pasadena and the Rose Parade is right around the corner.  Folks are already setting up their mini camps in the center divider as I’m driving down Sierra Madre and along the Colorado Blvd.  It’s fun to see so many people getting into the Rose Parade spirit!

The first Rose Parade took place in 1890 and was attended by 2000 people.  The attendance has grown to close to one million over the last few years.


READ MORE: How to see the Rose Floats!

                      2013 PRE PARADE Float Viewing

Interesting Facts about Rose Parade:

  • Rose Parade does not always take place on New Year’s Day.   The Tournament has a “never on a Sunday” deal, struck with local churches, that ensures the parade takes place on January 2 in years when Jan. 1 falls on Sunday.  Local lore says that the deal has kept the parade free from rain, but a torrent soaked fans in 2006, after more than 40 rain-free years. (Ironically, that parade ran on Jan. 2, the day after a rain-free Sunday.)
  • All the filming takes place on the corner of Orange Grove and Colorado.  Everyone participating in the Parade is on their best behavior and in their finest.  This is pretty much the beginning of the 5 mile route.
  • Floats retract to pass under the Interstate 210 overpass, then park on the street next to Victory Park for two days of post-parade float viewing.
  • Tournament of Roses takes about 80,000 hours of combined manpower each year.
  • Volunteers wear white uniforms and are known as “white suiters”.  Be kind to them.  They give up quite a bit of their time to make the Tournament of Roses Parade a success.
  • Sidewalk camping is allowed on New Year’s Eve only.  Campers can officially set up beginning at noon on December 31.  See Rose Parade Safety Guidelines.
  • Parade starts at 8 am and usually lasts 2.5 hours.

Most Pasadena locals, however, enjoy the Rose Parade from the comfort of their homes.  Of course, there are some die-hards who make this a family tradition.  Here is a bit of the insider perspective:

  • I have always been able to get a peek at some of the floats as they’re being moved to their starting position at San Gabriel Blvd and Huntington Drive where San Marino, San Gabriel and Pasadena meet.  The floats usually make their appearance between 6 pm and 8 pm New Year’s Eve.  There’s a Starbucks in the corner center next to Howe’s Market where you can sip your Latte as you wait.  Hopefully, this year will not be the exception.
  • Some also walk up to Rosemont or Orange Grove to see the floats up close.  Many floats are decorated at the Rosemont Pavillion located at 700 Seco Street across from the Rose Bowl and have to travel from there to get into position for the Parade.
  • If you want to sleep in on New Year’s Day, head out towards the East end of the Parade route (around Sierra Madre and Colorado) where the floats usually don’t arrive until after 9 am.
  • Have a friend who works in the office building along Colorado?  See if you can sneak in and watch from their office in one of the floors above.

No rain predicted for the 2014 Rose Parade and even though we are in sunny California, it will be cold.  So… dress in layers!

Don’t forget to send us your Rose Parade pictures so that we can add them to this post.  Thanks to all!  Stay safe and a very HAPPY NEW YEAR to YOU!

Read More:

History of the Rose Parade on Wikipedia
Official site of the Tournament Of Roses

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