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The Rose Bowl Parade............So You Want To Come

Updated on November 9, 2014

The Parade

I've lived in the Pasadena area for over 40 years, and have learned quite a bit about my little community. The Rose Parade is the highpoint of the city's year. Pasadena at one time was the home of the Oscars, which shared the honor of being one of Pasadena's premier events, however, since Los Angeles renovated Hollywood Blvd., the city lost that honor. Not to worry though we still have the Rose Bowl, now the home of UCLA football team, and the World Famous Rose Parade.

The Rose Parade is watched by untold millions, live, televised, and also Web cast, every January first. The estimation for the in-person attendance of the 2009 parade, was somewhere between 700,000 and 1,000,000. That's due in large part to the weather, for fifty years, between 1955 to 2005, the paraded boasted no rain. Then in 2006 the parade experienced not only rain, but winds of up to 45 mph(72 km/h). I remember that year, I was sure that the weatherman was wrong, but alas he wasn't. It rained, oh, how it rained! I suggest that you continually consult the Internet to see what the weatherman thinks the weather will be.

2009 Rose Queen
2009 Rose Queen
2010 Rose Queen and Her Court
2010 Rose Queen and Her Court
2010 Grand Marshall, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger
2010 Grand Marshall, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger

More About The Parade Route

A vast majority of the estimated 1,000,000 parade attendees camp out on the parade route. Camping is permitted overnight, from noon New Year's Eve, (without a permit). However, camping is not permitted on Orangegrove Blvd. from Del Rosa to Colorado Blvd, and on Colorado Blvd from Orangegrove to Terrace. In this area only Grandstand seating is permitted. Grandstands are strategically place along the parade route. Tickets for some of these seats, can be obtained by calling Sharp Seating at (626) 795-4171. Parking can be a problem, so I've provided information on that, see below.

Reserved Parade parking for automobiles, buses and recreational vehicles is available through Sharp Seating Company, official seating company of the Tournament of Roses, (626) 795-4171 and the City of Pasadena, (626) 744-6470. You may also contact Easy Parking Service (626) 286-7576.

Some Rules And Regulations Along The Parade Route

  • No backpacks, coolers or large bags are allowed in the grandstands.
  • No tents, ladders, scaffolding, sofas, or boxes of any kind are allowed
  • Bonfires are not permitted.  Small, professionally built barbecues elevated about one foot off the ground are allowed.
  • Nothing can be sold along the route without a permit.
  • No person under 18 will be permitted along the parade route without a parent or guardian between 10pm and 5am.
  • From noon until 11 pm the night before the parade all persons and their property must remain on the curb, at 11 pm spectators are allowed to  move out to the blue honor line.

A Few More Rose Parade Facts

The parade begins at a location commonly referred to by the locals as The Wrigley Mansion, so called because the mansion was at one time owned by William Wrigley Jr., the chewing gum magnate. However, today it is aptly named the Tournament House, the location for the home is South Orangegrove Blvd.

The parade begins at 8:00 a.m, and proceeds north until it reaches Colorado Blvd, it then turns right, heading east and from there the 5 1/2 mile parade takes 2 1/2 hours. Actually it takes 2 1/2 hours from any given point for the parade to pass. The cameras for televising the parade are positioned on three corners of Colorado Blvd and Orangegrove Blvd. That particular location is where the bulk of the activity is, and for about 2 to 3 miles the crowd is the thickest. At about the 4th mile the crowd begins to thin out, so if you want a better view I suggest you try to get a good spot in that vicinity. The parade ends at Sierra Madre and Villa Street, and there you can get a very good close up view, of the entire parade, as it's nearing the end.

Changing it up a bit. You might wonder how the Grand Marshall is chosen. They are picked for a relationship to the theme, the theme this year 2010, being "A Cut Above The Rest," ergo the reason Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger is chosen. Just in case his name is not immediately recognized by all, he's the pilot that saved a plane load of passengers by landing his plane safely on the Hudson River in New York City, USA.

Rose Parade Route Map
Rose Parade Route Map

The Making of A Float

Float Decorating And Viewing

To participate in the decoration of a float, contact the float builders directly. I've provided their names and a few links. (See links below list).

  • Charisma Floats
  • Festival Artists Decorating Hotline (626) 388-1839
  • Fiesta Parade Floats
  • Phoenix Decorating Co.
  • Studio Concepts

Self-built float organizations:

  • Burbank Tournament of Roses Association
  • Cal Poly Universities Pomona and San Luis Obispo
  • Downey Rose Float Association
  • La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association
  • Sierra Madre Rose Float Association
  • South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association P.O. Box 3662, So. Pasadena CA 91031

Where To Stay

Honestly, if you're reading this article late December, I would venture to say that there is not an empty hotel, motel, etc within 30 miles. Of course with Pasadena's improved public transportation distance is not the problem that it use to be.  I've listed links to information about some suggested lodging locations anyway. However, if you are reading this anytime after the 2010 parade the field is wide open for at least 3 months. Click on links below for lodging suggestions.

Rose Parade Route

orange grove blvd and colorado blvd, pasadena:
W Colorado Blvd & N Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA

get directions

1 w. colorado blvd pasadena ca:
1 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA

get directions

800 e. colorado bl pasadena ca:
800 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA

get directions

1300 w. colorado pasadena ca:
1300 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA

get directions

2500 e. colorado:
2500 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA

get directions

20 n sierra madre blvd, pasadena ca:
20 N Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA

get directions

sierra madre blvd and washington bl pasadena ca:
E Sierra Madre Blvd & E Washington Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA

get directions

sierra madre villa and sierra madre, pasadena:
Sierra Madre Villa Ave & E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107, USA

get directions


So in conclusion, if you are coming to Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses Parade, a little research should help you enjoy yourself.  I hope I've provided a little assist in this regard.  Even if you don't plan on an in person appearance you can always catch it on TV, or the Worldwide Web, either way have fun and enjoy the day.


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    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you dallas93444, I never thought of it that way. Does the term "clueless apply here, if so thanks for cluing me in on my own life story, LOL, and thanks for the vote. Please stop over again, "I got a million of 'em." Shades of Jimmy Durante.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      6 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great resource! Thanks for sharing. You have a 'real-life' been there and done that perspective.. filled with useful facts.

      Flag up!

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      I know, but it Googles well. Thanks Laura!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      There's a Rose Parade and a Rose Bowl Game, but there is no Rose Bowl Parade. A common mistake--I even mispoke the other day (but I was tired).

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks AllMomNeeds2know, I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping and reading.

    • AllMomNeeds2know profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for all the information. I just watched the parade.

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Just1guy, glad to hear from you, please come again soon.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Awsome article. Sounds like a must see and now I have more info to go on. Thanks

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you Petra Vlah for stopping over and reading. Please come back and read more. Thanks again.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you for writing this informative hub for people who do not live in Southern California.

      Always loved the Parade, but now thank to you, I know a little bit more about it.

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      I can see why Veronica, that's a beautiful shot.

      Thanks Micky Dee for reading my hub, and by your comment I can see that you really did read it, so again thanks for that. See you again soon.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      There is so much great info here. I may not ever makeit out to the parade but if I do I won't bring a cooler, or scaffold, or......

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, fastfreta - yes that's my little one. She's much bigger now, but that's one of my favorite pictures of her. Thanks for the complement.

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank lorlie6 for your comment, apparently a few are not as enamored with the parade as you are, who knew. Thanks for stopping.

      Thanks Veronica for stopping and reading, even though this is not your cup of tea. Thank you anyway, please check me out again. Hey I like your new picture, is that your baby? Beautiful!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      I love all the detail you put in this hub fastfreta. Although I'm not a big fan of parades, I did enjoy all the background information you presented, it made this event much more interesting for me. Great job!

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Wow-this is a well-researched Hub by a 'Pasadenen?' Anyhow, thanks so much for the information, fastfreda. I just may think about it this year-who doesn't love THIS parade?

    • fastfreta profile imageAUTHOR

      Alfreta Sailor 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thank you Philipo, Bail Up, alekhouse, Hello, hello, masmasika, and Cleanclover for taking the time to read and comment on my hub, and thank you for stopping by, please come again.

    • Philipo profile image


      8 years ago from Nigeria

      Very colourful. Thanks.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 

      8 years ago

      This is the kind of information I look for when visiting new places. Told like it is by real longtime locals. Great hub Freta!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Good hub...interesting. Do I want to come? Absolutely not. I hate parades. Rather see it on TV

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A lovely event and thank you for writing this hub. I enjoyed it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This is a great hub, fastfreta. sadly though I cannot come to watch it.

    • Cleanclover profile image


      8 years ago from Piece of land!

      If i ever visit california i will definitely see this parade and also the pretty girls :-). thank you fastfreta


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