by Laura Berthold Monteros
Visitors and Pasadena locals can celebrate the 128th Rose Parade “Echoes of Success” 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. Just remember that the dates are a bit different for the 2017 parade, because the “never on Sunday rule” applies and the Rose Parade will step off on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.
Sharp Seating Company is the official ticket vendor for these events. 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) sponsored by Giti Tires, Dec. 28, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017, $5 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 in three locations 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 three locations. Times vary by day and location; check the website for details.
Bandfest, $15 per performance, Dec. 30, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. and Dec. 31 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, Dec. 30, 2016 at noon (venue opens at 10 a.m.), $15 THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
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 units 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 and other surprises. For this package, guests of all ages require a paid ticket.
Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats sponsored by Miracle-Gro, Jan. 2, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. and Jan. 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10
See the floats in all their glory, but standing still! Senior citizens and the handicapped can enter as early as 7 a.m. Tickets are available for the day of the Rose Parade and the following day. 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. Tickets sales end at 3 p.m. at the venue.
Post Parade Park-N-Ride Shuttle, $3
Parking can be difficult close to the Showcase of Floats, so the Tournament of Roses offers a shuttle from three locations in Pasadena, with advance tickets available through Sharp Seating. Shuttle riders have access to a priority entry line upon arriving at the venue. Showcase of Floats tickets are required with advance Park-N-Ride Shuttle ticket purchase. For the locations and shuttle times, check the Sharp website.