If you have heard the term City of Roses, then you know about Pasadena, CA. The main claim to fame comes from the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl. The population swells near the beginning of every year – just to see the floats and attend this college game in one of the most beautiful cities in California.
The Tournament of Roses
In 1890, Pasadena began what became the most famous New Year’s Celebration in the United States. The parade starts at 8:00 AM on the corner of Green Street and continues 5.5 miles to Villa Street. The parade is steeped in tradition, so many of the participating organizations have been doing it for years. This event is spectacular and always has multi-network coverage.
The Rose Parade has three types of participants. The first are the marching bands, then the equestrian units, and finally the floral decorated floats by participating corporations or community organizations. The marching bands can exceed 300 members, and the equestrian units include the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales!
The Rose Parade
There are still rules for floats that have been in place since the inception of the parade. Every inch of the float is covered with flowers or other natural materials such as leaves, seeds or bark. Some delicate flowers, such as roses, are placed in individual vials of water and set into the float, one by one.
The marching bands have been involved in the parade since 1891! Ever since the Monrovia, California City Band joined in the second official parade. Since then hundreds of thousands of musicians globally have found their way to this march through Pasadena – from high schools to military bands, and everything in between. Instruments have varied from marching bands to bagpipes, brass and percussion bands.
Horses were part of the parade from the first, pulling the floats and being mounts for the Grand Marshal. Every breed of horse is there, with special skills, costumes, and jobs for the pageantry of the parade. They are a treasured part of the Tournament tradition and are loved by fans.
If you are fortunate enough to go to see this in person, make sure you get there early as parking always sells out well in advance. There is public transportation available, however! (What the natives know is that the floats stay in town a few days after the parade so you can see them if you are in town.)
The Rose Bowl
The Rose Bowl college football game began in 1902 and takes place in the Rose Bowl Stadium. This national landmark was built in 1922. Pasadena also hosts many other sporting events such as five NFL Super Bowl games, 1984 Olympic Soccer Matches, National College Football Championship Games for 2002, 2006 & 2010, and even the Women’s World Cup (1999) & Men’s World Cup (1994).
Pasadena is so beautiful that hosting crowds of people comes easily to these Californians. They have tours for the Rose Bowl available, so anyone can experience the history of almost 100 years of events in this National Historic Landmark. Those who take the tour learn about some of the highlights of many sports in one of America’s oldest stadiums. Check the link and the weather if you go! Some of the tour is outside.
Rose Bowl Flea Market
Every second Sunday of the month since 1967 there is one of the largest flea markets in the country held at the Rose Bowl. It involves thousands of dealers and tens of thousands of visitors all over the grounds of the Rose Bowl. The merchandise varies from California pottery to vintage clothing and much much more. Check out details on their webpage!
Rose Bowl Map