INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses is more than the Rose Parade, though that’s how “America’s New Year Celebration” got started in 1890. The 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game will be the grand events in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2018, but they aren’t the only game in town over the long weekend*. This guide has information and tips on the how-to of the activities. Information on dates, times, locations, and pricing for events are in our complete calendar and our articles on events and Rose Parade ticketing. With a little planning, your visit to Pasadena should sail along like—well, like a Rose Parade float!

GENERAL TIPS

  • Dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. There will be a lot of walking and standing.
  • The only thing predictable about Southern California weather is its unpredictability. It might be cold in the morning and evening, and hot during the day. Layers are a good idea. So is a weather app!
  • Travel light—carry only what you need for the place you’re going. For all venues, we recommend keeping money or a wallet in a front pocket and limiting valuables to cash, ID, car keys, and tissues.
  • Carry a bottle of water.
  • Accessibility—Pasadena is continually working to increase accessibility for the handicapped and those with sight or hearing difficulties. Questions can be directed to the Accessibility Issues Coordinator at (626) 744-4782 or aeverett@cityofpasadena.net.
  • Get your tickets in advance for pre-parade and post-parade events from Sharp Seating Company. They are also available at the venues, but the lines are long and some of the events sell out.
  • Grandstand tickets for the Rose Parade must be purchased in advance, but there is always room to stand for free.

GETTING AROUND

  • Plan your driving route and an alternate ahead of time. Traffic is heavier during the days before and after the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.
  • Many streets are closed to all vehicles except those of residents on New Year’s Day, as indicated on this map.
  • Public transportation is available using Metro trains and buses and Pasadena Transit.
  • The train servicing Pasadena is the Gold Line; extra trains are added for the Rose Parade. From the west (North Hollywood and Glendale), the 501 Orange Line bus stops at the Del Mar Gold Line station.
  • Pasadena Transit goes to all the venues within the city limits, but schedules and stops may change in the days leading up to the Rose Parade. There are no Pasadena Transit buses on New Year’s Day.
  • Metro Bike Share is available at many locations around the city, including close to train stations, the Rose Parade route, and two in the Arroyo Seco where the Rose Bowl and Rosemont Pavilion are. Fees and a map are on the Metro Bike Share website.

PRE-PARADE EVENTS

Decorating Places (pre-parade float viewing), Dec. 28-31, is a great way to see the final floral touches being applied to the huge constructions. There are two locations: Rosemont Pavilion, in the Rose Bowl area, and Rose Float Plaza South in Irwindale. The two are about 16 miles and a 25-to-45 minute drive apart, depending on traffic. An alternative is to take the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena to the Irwindale stop and walk about a mile south. For Rosemont Pavilion, take Pasadena Transit Route 51 or 52.

Live on Green is a free event at the Pasadena Convention Center, Dec. 29-31. There are activities, music, food, exhibits, and demonstrations for all ages. Parking is available in Convention Center garage (expensive) or at meters on the streets (1-2 hours only). Pasadena Transit Route 10 stops a block to the north.

Equestfest on Dec. 29 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center shows off the skills of the equestrian groups in the Rose Parade. Food and concessions are available on site, and visitors can tour the barns. The 501 Mero Bus is the only public transportation, and the closest stop is about a mile-and-a-half away. Parking in unpaved lots is sold at the venue.

Bandfest has three field shows on Dec. 29 & 30  featuring the bands that march in the Rose Parade at Pasadena City College. Visitors will be in full sun all day, so sunblock and water are musts. Parking is free, and food and concessions are available. Pasadena Transit Routes 10 & 60 will get  you there.

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Dec. 30 at noon in Rose Bowl Lot K, is an opportunity to enjoy a luncheon with the inductees into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Parking is free in the lots surrounding the stadium, or take Pasadena Transit Route 51 or 52.

Public Tailgate & Fan Fest, begins at 8 a.m. on Jan. 1 on the Brookside Golf Course north of the Rose Bowl. The event is free. Activities include interactive games, television, music, and other family fun. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Contact the Rose Bowl Stadium at (626) 577-3100 or at www.rosebowlstadium.com for more information.

POST-PARADE EVENTS

A Showcase of Floats, Jan. 1 & 2, is the best way to see the floats up close and personal in all their grandeur. There is a lot of walking and standing and almost no shade, so even in cool weather, it can feel quite warm. White Suiters and builders are on hand to offer details about the floats and flowering, and the animation on self-built floats is often running. There are food and merchandise vendors on site and free water from the City of Pasadena. Park-N-Ride shuttles are available, but there are also several lots in the area that sell parking to benefit schools and churches. Free street parking is also available.

THE ROSE PARADE

Getting there

Driving: Bring a map or use GPS, as some streets and freeway ramps will be closed. Try to stay a half mile or more above or below the parade route for as long as possible, and allow at least three times as much time travel as you normally would.

Parking: In addition to commercial parking vendors, there are plenty of spaces available from churches, businesses, and schools in the vicinity. Check out Craigslist Los Angeles for merchants selling reserved parking. Park on the same side of the route that you are coming from to avoid having to cross Colorado Blvd. in a car. Street parking is available for free if you don’t mind walking three-quarters or a mile or more, and the no-overnight-parking rule in Pasadena is suspended within a certain distance of the parade.

Public transportation: Metro Gold Line has several stops within walking distance of the parade. West to east, these stations are Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake Avenue, and Allen Avenue. Metro runs additional trains and more frequent Gold Line service from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on parade day.

When to get there and where to sit

  • The parade starts on Orange Grove just south of Colorado Blvd. promptly at 8 a.m. and takes about two hours to get to the end of the route on Sierra Madre Blvd. Grandstands provide the assurance of a reserved seat and a place to sit; the vendor will let purchasers know when to arrive. Parade-goers who don’t mind standing can usually find a good spot up to an hour or two before the parade arrives, especially further east on the route. Viewing is best from the south, or “camera side” of Colorado Blvd.
  • Be sure to look up just before the parade starts, to catch the B2 bomber flying over from west to east!

Travel light

Take a tote bag to stash snacks, beverages and the layers you shed. Keep money or your wallet in a front pocket and limit valuables to cash, ID, car keys, and tissues. Food, beverages and souvenirs are sold along the parade route.

Camping out

Who: Adults and children with adults. No one under the age of 18 may stay overnight on the street without a parent or guardian. Curfew is in effect from 10 p.m. to  5 a.m.

What to bring: Bring enough layers to keep warm, including a sleeping bag. Chairs and small professionally made barbeques (such as hibachis) that stand at least one foot off the ground are allowed. Tents, couches, ladders, scaffolding, boxes, alcoholic beverages, and bonfires or open fires are prohibited.

When & Where: Chairs and bags can be placed beginning at noon the day before the parade. No one is allowed to stand, sit, or have gear in the street until 11 p.m.

Don’t rope off any public area, including the sidewalk, curb, gutter, and street; sell items without a permit; throw anything onto the parade route at any time, including tortillas, marshmallows, and spray string; walk in the street; or block the sidewalk so people cannot easily pass.

Know the players

An official Rose Parade program is well worth the price. They are available on the street, online from Sharp Seating, in stores around town, or at the Pasadena Museum of History.

When the parade is over

Getting home from the Rose Parade can take even longer than getting there. Some people grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant or pack a lunch to eat in their cars while they wait for the traffic to disperse or the lines at the train station to go down. Please remember to put trash in the receptacles provided.

Audio and Braille

A free audio tour of the floats can be downloaded to a cell phone by calling (626) 321-4768.  A special version of the Rose Parade program guide is available in Braille by calling (800) BRAILLE.

ROSE BOWL GAME

Schedule

  • Rose Bowl Stadium parking lots open at 4 a.m.
  • Gates open at 10 a.m.
  • Pre-game activities in the stadium being at 1:00 p.m.

Getting there

  • No matter how you go, allow plenty of time. Traffic will be extremely heavy.
  • Stadium and parking map is on the Rose Bowl Stadium site.
  • Parking is $40 per car at the Rose Bowl. There is no reserved parking and no in-and-out privileges, but tickets can be purchased in advance at https://www.parkjockey.com/rose-bowl
  • Parking is $40 per car at the Parsons lot in Old Pasadena at Union Street and De Lacey Avenue. with entrances off of Walnut Street and Holly Street in Pasadena. Reserved parking can be purchased in advance through LAZ Parking. Overnight parking is also available for $80. Bus parking and RV parking also available. Call LAZ Parking at (626) 578-1705 for further details.
  • By rail, take the Gold Line to the Memorial Park Station.
  • By taxi, ride-share, or to be dropped off, the designated drop-off, pick-up and taxi zone is on Holly Street between Fair Oaks Avenue and Arroyo Parkway.  There are no provisions for drop-offs and pick-ups at the stadium.
    A free shuttle at the Parsons lot on Fair Oaks and Holly takes visitors to the stadium whether they arrive by foot, rail, taxi, or car. The shuttle runs continuously from 10:00AM until approximately two hours after the end of the game.

Fan guidelines

  • Please read the Game Safety Guidelines carefully. They are very specific and designed to ensure everyone has a good time. Briefly, they are
  • Everyone and every bag will be searched.
  • Only approved bags will be allowed; details and illustrations are on the site.
  • Strollers are allowed but will have to be checked with an usher or at the checked items tent.
  • The Rose Bowl abides by the Southern California Fan Code of Conduct.
  • If  you see something, say something.

2018 Rose Parade

Just as the sun comes up at the 2017 Rose Parade

 

 

The Rose Parade is a grand and glorious pageant, viewed by an estimated 80 million people around the world. It’s also a small-town parade, with the Queen and Court chosen from local young women and six of the 45 or so floats self-built by local cities and a university. Most of the equestrian units come from the Southwest, but the bands come from all over the world.

Tickets

Where to get tickets and parking for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Floats

General Information

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

Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018

Documentary ‘Float’ chronicles Burbank’s entry from concept to Colorado Blvd.

Building Rose Parade floats: The tools of the trade

Put flowers on a float! Some tips

The Floats

Honor a loved one with a memorial rose on a Rose Parade float

Self-builders share picnic goodies and 2018 float renderings

Bands

Marching bands in the 2018 Rose Parade

Bandfest show schedule for 2018 Rose Parade marching units

Equestrians

Rose Parade 2018 equestrian lineup announced

 

2018 Tournament of Roses

2018 Tournament of Roses Theme poster. Courtesy Pasadena TOR.

 

“MAKING A DIFFERENCE”

The 129th Tournament of Roses in photos and stories

The Tournament of Roses in Pasadena is more than the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2018. It is the week-long “America’s New Year Celebration,” chock full of floats, bands, equestrians, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can attend Bandfest, Equestfest, Decorating Places, Showcase of Floats, and Live on Green.

The 129th Rose Parade features bands from all over the world, equestrian groups, and around 45 flower-covered floats presenting the theme “Making a Difference.” The 104th Rose Bowl Game pits the top teams in “The Granddaddy of Them All,” the oldest post-season collegiate bowl game.

Read all about it by clicking on the links below, which contain information about the events and people involved as well as tips on attending the events and getting around.  The list will be updated as articles are posted.  Be sure to bookmark this page and return to it frequently!

 

General Information

INSIDER’S GUIDE TO THE 2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES

2018 TOURNAMENT OF ROSES CALENDAR

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain

What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world

Tournament of Roses News & Events

Make a real difference with Real Change meters

Rose Parade 

Information, floats, marching bands, and equestrians

The 2018 Royal Court

Articles & albums about the Tournament of Roses Royal Court

Rose Bowl Game

Information, events, people

Special Events

Bandfest show schedule for 2018 Rose Parade marching units

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

Tournament of Roses Foundation presents $200,000 in grants to SGV non-profits

Phoenix Decorating Company chosen to design gateway arch to Arroyo Seco Weekend

Even after 100 years, a Rose Queen is forever at Pasadena Museum of History

Celebrities & Sponsors

Tournament of Roses Pres. Lance Tibbet is aiming on ‘Making a Difference’ in 2018 

David Eads of LA Chamber announced as new Executive Director/CEO of  Pasadena Tournament of Roses

Guessing game: Who will the 2018 Rose Parade Grand Marshal be?

Helpful Links

Tournament of Roses

Tournament of Roses Parade Day Guide

Visit Pasadena Rose Parade spectator guide

Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau

Rose Bowl Stadium

Visit Pasadena Rose Bowl Game spectator guide

Rose Parade official tours at PrimeSport

Rose Bowl Game official tours at PrimeSport

Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It’s been a long time since list of Rose Parade float trophies was revamped, but we learned from our friends at La Cañada Flintridge Rose Float Association that the Tournament of Roses has announced an updated list. LCFTRA posted the information on its Facebook page today. The organization promises more enlightenment on the float judging process in the days to come.

The new Rose Parade float trophies: Here are our observations

Continue reading “Rose Parade trophies get an update for 2018”

Photos: Royal Court cuts ribbon for 2017 Tournament of Roses hotline

by Laura Berthold Monteros

“Yes, I’m Queen Victoria!” When Tori Castellanos picked up the phone at the Visitor Hotline at the Pasadena Convention Center on Thursday, she had to assure the caller that indeed they were talking to the 99th Rose Queen. The hotline, +1 (877) 793-9911, is open from 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 30 and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It’s staffed by volunteers, and lucky callers might even talk to a princess.

The hotline room was packed with photographers eager to get shots of the 2017 Royal Court at the annual Visitor Hotline ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday. The girls were a bit late (ever try to get seven teenagers ready on time?), but happy to be there to open the phones. The Visitor Hotline, run by the Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau, is best way to get on-the-spot information on events, including the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, places to eat, hotels, parking, and activities in the Crown City.

More information is on the “GoPasadena” app, which can be downloaded to mobile devices, and on the Visit Pasadena Facebook page, and don’t forget to check out the detailed info on The Rose Examiner at The Insider’s Guide and Tournament of Roses Calendar.

128th Tournament of Roses Parade Order of March

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 128th Rose Parade takes place on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 in Pasadena, Calif. and features spectacular marching bands, costumed equestrians, and of course, flower-covered floats. There are nearly 100 entries for the 2017 parade.

The Order of March is a bit unusual. The Tournament of Roses President, Brad Ratliff, appears rather late in the parade at No. 65, just ahead of his hometown float, La Cañada Flintridge. Like 2014 Pres. Scott Jenkins, he’ll be in a wagon pulled by equines. Speaking of equines, it is rare for two equestrian units to be placed back-to-back in the Rose Parade, but the Union Rescue Mission and Philippine Scouts are this year at Nos. 77 and 78. The LAUSD All District High School Honor Band is paired with the National Hockey League float, probably hoping for another Stanley Cup win by the LA Kings.

Tournament block:

Entries No. 33 through 48 all have a strong Tournament of Roses connection and lots of star power. It’s the largest block of Tournament-related entries we’ve seen. The City of Los Angeles float, which is the longest-standing Rose Parade float entry, drums up interest in hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics. It’s followed by the three Grand Marshals, all award-winning Olympians, and includes the 2018 Queen and Court, 2017 Rose Bowl Game Hall of Fame inductees, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, Rose Parade founders Valley Hunt Club, and retiring Tournament of Roses Executive Director/CEO William B. Flinn. Flinn, the conductor of The Salvation Army’s Pasadena Tabernacle Band, is followed by The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, one of three bands guaranteed a Rose Parade slot. Floats are presenting sponsors Miracle-Gro (post-parade Showcase of Floats) and Northwestern Mutual (Rose Bowl Game), and the two Rose Bowl Game teams. The PCC Herald Trumpets and Tournament of Roses Honor Band, and the two Rose Bowl university bands provide music.

Order of March

Continue reading “128th Tournament of Roses Parade Order of March”

Tournament of Roses float listing for 2017 Rose Parade is here!

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Forty sponsored floats will participate in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 2, 2017. In addition, four floats representing the Tournament of Roses fill roll down Colorado Blvd., two for the universities participating in the Rose Bowl Game, the theme banner, and the Royal Court float. Trophies will be awarded to 24 of the floats.

Sponsored entries

  1. 24 Hour Fitness, AES
  2. AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Fiesta Parade Floats
  3. American Armenian Rose Float Association, Phoenix Decorating Company
  4. American Honda Motor Co., Phoenix Decorating Company
  5. BDK, a Singpoli Affiliate, Paradiso Parade Floats
  6. Burbank Tournament of Roses Association, Self-Built
  7. Cal Poly Universities, Self-Built
  8. California Milk Advisory Board, Fiesta Parade Floats
  9. China Airlines, AES
  10. City of Alhambra, CA, Phoenix Decorating Company
  11. City of Hope, Phoenix Decorating Company
  12. City of Los Angeles, Fiesta Parade Floats
  13. Dole Packaged Foods, Fiesta Parade Floats
  14. Donate Life, Paradiso Parade Floats
  15. Downey Rose Float Association, Self-Built
  16. Farmers Insurance, Phoenix Decorating Company
  17. Kaiser Permanente, Fiesta Parade Floats
  18. Kiwanis International, Phoenix Decorating Company
  19. La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Self-Built
  20. Lions Clubs International, Phoenix Decorating Company
  21. Lucy Pet , Fiesta Parade Floats
  22. Lutheran Laymen’s League, Phoenix Decorating Company
  23. Miracle-Gro, Fiesta Parade Floats
  24. National Hockey League (NHL), Phoenix Decorating Company
  25. Netflix, AES
  26. Northwestern Mutual, Fiesta Parade Floats
  27. Occupational Therapy Association of California, Fiesta Parade Floats
  28. Odd Fellows Rebekahs Rose Float, Phoenix Decorating Company
  29. RAGÚ, Paradiso Parade Floats
  30. Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, Inc., Phoenix Decorating Company
  31. Shriners Hospitals for Children, Phoenix Decorating Company
  32. Sierra Madre Float Association, Self-Built
  33. South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, Self-Built
  34. The Bachelor, Fiesta Parade Floats
  35. The UPS Store, Inc., Paradiso Parade Floats
  36. Torrance Rose Float Association, Fiesta Parade Floats
  37. Trader Joe’s, Phoenix Decorating Company
  38. Union Bank and the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate, Phoenix Decorating Company
  39. United Sikh Mission, Phoenix Decorating Company
  40. Western Asset Management Company, Phoenix Decorating Company

Tournament of Roses entries

  1. Queen and Court, Fiesta Parade Floats Parade Floats
  2. Rose Bowl Game University #1, AES
  3. Rose Bowl Game University #2, AES
  4. Theme Banner, Phoenix Decorating Company Decorating Company

Bands in the 2017 Rose Parade

Equestrians in the 2017 Rose Parade

What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world

pasadena-city-logoby Laura Berthold Monteros

The Tournament of Roses Parade is watched in-person by hundreds of thousands, and the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game are seen on television and over the internet by tens of millions of people around the world. For many, it wouldn’t be New Year’s without America’s New Year Celebration.

The City of Pasadena, incorporated in 1886 by a group of well-to-do folks from the Midwest, has been hosting the Tournament of Roses since 1890.  It was originally a way to show off the lovely climate in Southern California to people suffering through winter snows, and was perhaps as much a real estate venture as a celebration. Its popularity over the decades has caused many to refer to Pasadena as “The City of Roses” or even “Rose City.” Numerous businesses are named “Rose City” this or that—veterinarians, pediatricians, dentists, counselors, contractors, even a laundromat and a high school. But folks who drive around a bit are likely to see more signs with the moniker “Crown City.”

This is because the true City of Roses is Portland, Oregon, which boasts an ideal climate for growing roses and holds its own Rose Festival in June. Pasadena, California, is “The Crown City.”  The name is ubiquitous around town, and yep, Continue reading “What’s in a nickname? How Pasadena California is known to locals and the world”

Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain

Dolphins on the Cunard float at the 2011 Showcase of Floats
Cunard float dolphins at 2011 Showcase of Floats

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There are two maxims about the Rose Parade that everyone in Pasadena knows: There’s never a parade on a Sunday, and it doesn’t rain on the parade.  Some say that the sunshiny days the Tournament of Roses has enjoyed are God smiling on the parade due to the “Never on Sunday” rule, which has held since the first time Jan. 1 fell on a Sunday in 1893 and the parade was moved to Jan. 2.  The second—well, 10 rainy days in a century-and-a-quarter isn’t a bad batting average.

What about the upcoming Rose Parade? Southern California weather forecasts are notoriously inaccurate, but here’s what we can say. It will be cold overnight and into the morning until sunup, when it might be  mild, warm, or hot. We’ve known it to shower right up to step-off at 8 a.m., when the skies open up and the California sunshine pours through, and we’ve walked around the post-parade Showcase of Floats in the rain.

The odds of rain? About one in 12, but that figure doesn’t mean much. The rainy years were closer together in the beginning, at two every 12 years: 1895, 1899, 1906, 1910, 1916, 1922, 1934, 1937. Note that the first one was only two years after the Never on Sunday rule went into effect. Then came a break of 18 years to 1955, when Chief Justice Earl Warren was the Grand Marshal, and a hiatus of a whopping 51 years to 2006, when Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was Grand Marshal. That has led Continue reading “Will it rain on my Rose Parade? The rules: No Sundays, water themes, or Supreme Court Justices equals no rain”

2017 Rose Bowl Game

copyright 2010 Ramona Monteros

 

 

 

The Granddaddy of Them All, the Rose Bowl Game, is the first post-season collegiate bowl game. It was known as the East-West Game until the Rose Bowl Stadium opened in 1923. The first game was played in 1902, but U. Michigan trounced Stanford so badly (49-0) that the founders turned to other post-parade entertainment until 1916.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do the Granddaddy of Them All: Rose Bowl Game tickets and how-to information for 2017

Meet Bobby Bell, Ricky Ervins, Tommy Prothro, Art Spander at Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, Class of 2016: Bell, Ervins, Prothro, Spander

There is no such thing as the Rose BOWL Parade!

The 103rd Rose Bowl Game

USC Trojans prevail over Penn State Nittany Lions in Rose Bowl

Photo gallery: Penn State, USC in the 2017 Rose Parade