The Tournament of Roses Parade is a festive start to the New Year. This long-time California tradition is one of America's cultural treasures and even more amazing to see in person. There are few (if any) more festive ways to begin a year than enjoying the Pasadena rose parade.
Tournament of Roses Parade History and Facts
For more than 120 years, people have been building, driving, and watching floats at one of California's most famous events. Hosted by a volunteer organization, the parade is packed with all-floral floats, as well equestrian groups and marching bands. The 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade is scheduled to start at 8 a.m., as it does every year. The traditional date is the First of January, unless that's a Sunday. If that's the case, the festivities will be moved back a day so it doesn't take place on Sunday. This rule was decided early in its history, way back in 1893. Every year and every parade brings a new theme. The Rose Bowl, the meeting between to two college football teams kicks off a few hours after the parade ends.
Tickets to the Tournament of Roses Parade
If you're planning to sit in the grandstand, you'll need to order tickets ahead of time. You can plan really far ahead for this, since tickets go on sale every February 1. Tickets are required for anyone over the age of two. Little ones who sit on an adult's lap are free, but otherwise they'll need tickets for their own seat. No tickets are needed to sit on the curb, but you might want to get there as soon as possible. The city ordinance allows people to stake their seats beginning on noon the day before.
Tour companies include tickets to the Pasadena rose parade 2012 in packages that have overnight accommodations, transportation, and meals. You'll also have special access to the floats both before the parade and after if you book one of the official tours. Seeing the float-decorating process is one of the things to do you won't seen forget.
Some of the available packages combine parade tickets with tickets to the big game to follow at the Rose Bowl and tours around Southern California.
Directions to the Tournament of Roses Parade
The 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade takes place along a five-mile route that begins at the junction of Orange Grove Boulevard and Green Street. After following along Orange Grove, the floats and bands turn east onto Colorado Boulevard—the longest stretch of the parade. Finally, it continues north on Sierra Madre Boulevard to its end at Villa Street.
To get to the parade in the first place, you could drive or take public transportation. From San Bernardino and Las Vegas, take Highway 15 towards Los Angeles and the 210 Freeway. Several exits lead right into town.
From Orange County, the best route is I-405 or I-5 to Los Angeles, then the 605 freeway north to the 210 freeway west to Pasadena. The 110 leads straight from downtown Los Angeles.
Lodging near the Tournament of Roses Parade
The parade has partnered with several California hotels to provide great rates and special packages during Pasadena's biggest day. Because the event is so popular, you'll want to make reservations at the Rose Bowl hotels as soon as you can. Rooms can fill up fast for early January vacations.
Many of the hotels are withing walking distance of the parade route, including the Sheraton Pasadena at 303 Cordova Street and the Westin Pasadena at 191 N. Los Robles Avenue. The Sheraton, which has been renovated, has 311 guestrooms and a complimentary shuttle. The Westin is a little bigger with 350 rooms and WiFi access in all areas of the hotel.