Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats for 129th Tournament of Roses

Get up-close shots like this at the Showcase of Floats post-Rose Parade event.
Get up-close shots like this at the Showcase of Floats post-Rose Parade event.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses is not one day out of the year. America’s New Year Celebration goes on for an entire week. Pre-parade float viewing, field shows featuring the marching bands, an arena show with equestrians, and post-parade float viewing offer something for everyone. “Making a Difference” is the theme for the 129th Tournament of Roses. The central events, the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, are held on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

There are also local events such as Live On Green at the Pasadena Convention Center and fun for the children at KidSpace in Brookside Park. We’ll be posting information on all the Tournament of Roses events and how to do them between now and December. Subscribe to TheRoseExaminer.com by filling in the box in the upper left to get email notifications.

Sharp Seating Company is the official ticket vendor for Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places.  Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone at (626) 795-4171 and in person at 737 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena (enter in the rear parking lot off Meridith Ave.).  Children ages five and under are free at all events except Equestfest VIP seating. Tickets are also available at the venues, but some events sell out ahead of time.

Decorating Places (pre-parade float viewing) presented by Giti Tires, Dec. 28-31, 2017, $10 to $15
Deco Week is second only the Rose Parade in the excitement it generates in Pasadena. Floats in the final stages of decoration are on view for visitors to see how thousands of volunteers hustle to get every last seed or flower on the floats in preparation for final judging. The ticket price depends on the day of attendance, and provides entry to all locations.  Times vary by day and location; check the website for details.

Bandfest presented by Remo, $15 per performance, Dec. 29, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 9:30 a.m. & 2 p.m.
In addition to marching six miles in the Rose Parade, the bands put on field shows at Pasadena City College in the days before the parade.  There are three shows with different bands performing at each; the schedule will be released later in the year.  These shows often sell out before the event, so make sure to order tickets ahead of time.  Each show requires separate admission.

Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo, Dec. 29, 2017 at noon (venue opens at 10 a.m.), $15
Horse lovers get the opportunity to see the equestrian units perform in the Los Angeles Equestrian Center arena before they ride in the Rose Parade. Trick riding and reenactments are part of the fun. Merchandise and food are on sale at the venue and the horses can be viewed in the warm-up ring and stables. Parking costs $10 (paid at the venue) and is on an unpaved field or across the street for overflow. Early arrival is recommended to ensure parking inside the venue.

Equestfest Limited VIP Reserved Seating Package, $40
Included in this package are a preferred reserved seat, early VIP entrance, an official souvenir seat cushion, a goody bag with other surprises. For this package, guests of all ages require a paid ticket

Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats sponsored by Miracle-Gro, Jan. 1, 2018 from 1-5 p.m. and Jan. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., $13
See the floats in all their glory, but standing still! Ticket price includes Park-N-Ride shuttles from two locations in Pasadena. Senior citizens and the handicapped can enter as early as 7 a.m. White Suiters and builders are on hand to offer details about the floats and flowering, and the animation on the floats is often running. There are food and merchandise vendors onsite and free water from the City of Pasadena. Ticket booths will sell admission tickets at Park-N-Ride locations and at the venue on Sierra Madre Blvd. Sales end at 3 p.m.

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Dec. 31, 2017, noon to 2 p.m., $40

Enjoy a luncheon with the inductees into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2017. It’s held at the Rose Bowl Stadium in the Lot K Tent