The Tournament of Roses Parade occurs every New Year’s Day or on January 2 whenever New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday and this year the celebration will be held on January 1. The Rose Parade is a beloved tradition and a perfect way to celebrate the new year, especially for families looking to spend the day together. The wait may be long, but it’s worth it once those flower-covered parade floats begin rolling down and you see the creative and insane creations the volunteers have to offer. People compete to create elaborate and advanced floats. From pirate ships and robots to a Wizards of Oz-themed float, these insane creations will blow your mind.
History of Tournament of Roses Parade
Members of the Valley Hunt Club, a private social club, Charles Frederick Holder and Francis F. Rowland created the Tournament of Roses (or simply, the Rose Parade) to showcase the warmth and sunny skies in the place they now call home, Pasadena, California. They created the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, a non-profit organization that has held this event annually since 1890. This annual parade is held on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.
The first ever tournament had about 2,000 attendees and it now has more than 800,000 people coming in from all over the world. The tournament continues to hold the same spirit with some alterations made due to technological advancements. The first parade featured horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers and chariot races. The parade continues to feature equestrian units, with the addition of marching bands and creative, elaborate floats with various themes. Each year a theme is chosen for the Tournament of Roses Parade, the first in 1918 being ‘Patriotism.’
The Tournament of Rose Parade is followed by the Rose Bowl college football game. The Rose Bowl was added to the event in 1902 to help fund the Tournament of Roses Parade as the elaborate event required many volunteers and extensive work. The members volunteering their time are chosen right from the community. Members of the tournament are often called ‘White Suiters’ as they each wear a white suit and red tie.
Tournament of Roses Parade timeline
Charles Fredrick Holder and Francis F. Rowland create the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The Rose Bowl college football game is introduced to help fund the parade.
The Rose Bowl is played again since it was first introduced.
The Presidents of the Tournament of Roses Association begin assigning themes for every parade.
Tournament of Roses Parade FAQs
Has it ever rained during the Rose Parade?
In the years since the Rose Parade was created, it only rained 10 times — the last being in 2006.
How long is the walk in the Rose Parade?
If you plan on seeing all the floats, you’ll have to walk about 2.5 miles. This walk takes about two hours.
What happens to the Rose Parade floats?
Floats are stripped to their chassis after the parade and reused.
Tournament of Roses Parade Activities
Attend the parade
The best way to celebrate the Rose Parade is by actually attending it in person. If you plan to buy a seat, make sure to do so as soon as tickets are available.
Volunteer in the event
The members of the event are all volunteers of various ages. Many roles are open to fill, each with different skill sets. Visit the official website to participate in this special event.
Watch the live stream
If you’re unable to attend the event, you can get the best seat in the house right in the comfort of your home. Catch the live stream on any T.V. station or YouTube.
5 Amazing Facts About The Rose Parade
They made the largest float
The Tournament of Roses Parade made the largest float at 116 feet long, featuring Tillman, a skateboarding bulldog.
A variety of flowers
A mixture of flowers is usually used and it takes about 20 daisies, 30 roses, or 36 marigolds, to cover one square foot.
There’s no marching on Sunday
It was determined in 1893 that the parade would disturb the horses hitched outside churches.
It uses up a lot of flowers
Each float uses five years' worth of flowers and there are about 40 floats a year which adds up to about 18 million flowers!
It annually crowns a queen!
Young women aged 17 to 21 are interviewed to be part of the Royal Court where one Rose Queen and six Rose Princesses emerge.
Why We Love Tournament of Roses Parade
It takes a lot of effort
About 935 people volunteer to help organize this event. They spend a collective 80,000 hours working on it.
It brings in a sense of pride
Residents of Pasadena are united in their sense of pride in their people and how they volunteer to organize this beautiful event. It’s astounding to see what people can create with some determination and discipline.
It’s a thing of beauty
The floats are a marvel to look at. They are an immense show of creativity that makes us appreciate art, and most importantly, flowers.
Tournament of Roses Parade dates