Massive sets of bleachers have already begun to line Orange Grove Drive and other Rose Parade streets in Pasadena in preparation for the Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The 2018 Rose Parade features 44 floats, 20 equestrian units with approximately 400 horses, and 21 marching bands. The Grand Marshals of the parade will be Gary Sinise.
The Tournament of Roses as it was originally called was started back in 1890 by members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club. Many of the members of the Valley Hunt Club had moved to Southern California from colder climates and they wished to showcase their new California home’s mild winter weather.
The first parade featured horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers, followed by foot races, polo matches, and a game of tug-of-war that attracted a crowd of 2,000 to the event. It has since grown to become an integral part of America’s New Year Celebration and it is watched by hundreds of thousands of people along the parade route and by millions more on television worldwide.
The Rose Parade will start at 8:00 am PST on January 1, 2018. Those lucky enough to get a spot along the Rose Parade route are treated to a two-hour parade of magnificent floral floats, talented marching bands, and high-stepping equestrians. The 5 1/2-mile Rose Parade route begins at the corner of Green Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. The parade travels north on Orange Grove at a leisurely 2 1/2-mile per hour pace and then turns east onto Colorado Boulevard, where the majority of the parade viewing takes place. Near the end of the route, the parade turns north onto Sierra Madre Boulevard and concludes at Villa Street. For those that can’t it is probably the most broadly televised event on New Year’s Day.
Note that the Pasadena Police Department will be closing the 2018 Rose Parade route early this year to vehicular traffic to enhance public safety measures. Route closures will take effect beginning at 10 p.m., Sunday, December 31 until 2 p.m., Monday, January 1, 2018, along Colorado Boulevard, from Orange Grove Boulevard, to Sierra Madre Boulevard, and northbound on Sierra Madre to Paloma Street.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for anyone planning to attend the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl or even those that will be in the vicinity at near the times of the parade to visit The Tournament of Roses Website for information regarding seating, arrival times, restrictions, parade route maps and more. This is an extremely large event and you will need to be prepared.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!