Who doesn’t love a parade? Especially one that is unique to the United States. The Parade of Roses traces its roots (if I can indulge in a slight pun) back to 1890 when some local boosters wanted to brag about their wonderful city and its outstanding climate and devised this event to make their friends in the wintery east jealous.
Although this parade in lovely Pasadena, California is associated with a major college football game, there was no game affiliated until 1902.
What is so special about this event which is staged every New Year’s Day, except when New Years Day falls on a Sunday…(then the parade (and the ball game) is on Monday…the first day of the new year) ? The answer is that this five and half mile event features floats made entirely of natural elements and these floats are magnificent in their beauty. The colors, the artistry, the ingenuity will amaze you.
The average float measures about 18 feet long and 17 feet tall, and contains about 5 tons of flowers, stems, seeds and vegetables. To illustrate: it takes 20 chrysanthemums to cover one square foot!!
Since there are usually about 60 floats in the parade, you can only imagine the vast amount of material needed. Tons of fresh flowers, nut shells, onion seeds (they’re used wherever black accents are needed); beans, because they come in many colors. Corn meal for beige backgrounds; carnations, Poinsettias and carnations for bright flashes of red; tons of gladiolas, tulips, lilacs and thousands of orchids. Nothing artificial is allowed. No “gilding the lilies” tolerated
This materials come in fresh and must arrive within a very brief time frame, because a wilted float is not acceptable!!
The theme of the parade is announced as early as the moment this year’s parade ends. The designs are presented and the building of the floats begins…but not decorated until about 72 hours before Parade Day! You can witness the final touches by attending the festivities a day or two before the event…many tour companies include pre-parade viewing as part of their packages.
In addition to the fabulous floats, there are equestrian events, marching bands from schools and colleges from around the country (actually, from around the world!). Parade Marshals are celebrities: Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Richard Nixon, Shirley Temple, just to name a few from past years.
Millions of people all around the world view this event on television; thousands line the parade route and you can be there! In reserved grandstand seats; you can go behind the scenes and watch the final decorations being applied. There’s even a museum and band concerts…but a great venue to view the two hour passage is your, if you book ahead and book a package!
Don’t let the parade pass you by! Why not select one of our Rose Bowl packages and include the float and game? If you don’t want to attend the game, there are parade only packages for both 2012 and you can even book early for 2013.