History: The first Tournament of Roses was staged back in 1890 in Pasadena in southern California. During the next few years, the celebration expanded to include marching bands and sophisticated motorized floats followed by organized games on the town lot including ostrich races, bronco busting demonstrations and a race between a camel and an elephant .Reviewing stands were added along the Pasadena Parade route east-west. Local media noticed and embraced this prestigious event contributing to its endless fame.
In 1902, the Tournament of Roses administration added a football game to enhance the new year’s celebration and festivities. Pasadena’s new sophisticated and giant stadium hosted its first New Year’s football game back in 1923 and soon earned the nickname “The Rose Bowl.”
The prestigious Tournament of Roses has come a long way since its early days. Today, the Rose Parade festivities are more sophisticated and floats are more elaborated featuring high-tech computerized animation and exotic natural materials from around the world. This parade is broadcast on multiple television networks, watched by upwards of millions of spectators all over the world.
Parade: The Tournament of Roses Parade has faithfully followed its early and historic route. The five-and-a-half mile famous Rose Parade route begins at the corner of Ellis Street and Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. The Parade travels north on Orange Grove at a leisurely 2.5-mile per hour following their traced and colorful lines painted on the main streets. The Parade pace and then turns east onto Colorado Boulevard the hot spot of the Parade where Televisions and VIP viewers are stationed. These seats require a 6 months to a one year reservation in advance where the majority of the Parade takes place. The Rose Bowl Parade travels along Colorado Boulevard through the Historic route 66 and Pasadena for long miles where every single spot is taken by local and international visitors. The Rose Bowl Parade then turns north onto Sierra Madre Boulevard passing highway 210 and ends at Sierra Madre and Villa Street, in the eastern part of Pasadena.
The Rose Parade features three types of entries: floral floats entered by a participating corporation or community organization; equestrian units; and marching bands. The only cars that appear in the Rose Parade are those that carry the Grand Marshal, the Mayor of Pasadena, and the Tournament of Roses President. Many of the Rose Parade’s participating organizations have a long history with the Tournament of Roses and have made repeated appearances in the Parade.
Floats: Impressive and highly sophisticated floral Floats designed by an army of volunteers from sponsoring local, national or international communities. However, most of these floral Floats are built by professional sponsored by companies who is seeking to promote their culture or business to the millions of audience watching this prestigious event.
Traditionally, 1 to 3 days prior the Rose Bowl Parade, curious visitors can view several of the floats being decorated with flowery mantles and different themes. Each floats is represented by the upcoming marching bands and the team who is in charge of each float.
Join our Rose Bowl Parade tour to explore the secret of these floral Floats while been decorated!
After the parade, all these floral floats are gathered at the end of the parade route from Colorado Boulevard to the Sierra Madre Blvd and Victory Park to be publicly displayed for 2 days. Admittance to the viewing used to be free, but a fees have been recently instituted
Equestrians: Horses have always been a major player of the tournament of the roses since the beginning . Every year, new professional equestrians who come to share the magic of New Year’s day and appreciate the commitment to excellence and professionalism exhibited along the Colorado Boulevard and celebrated all over the world through the Media.
Prior to the rose bowl parade, an “Equestfest” is held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center to showcase the great performances by the amazing and talented riding teams. To performances were the First Cavalry Division U.S. Army Fort Hood, Clydesdales, “Traveler”-USC mascot, Sons and Daughters of the Reel West and the California State Fire Fighters Association have been .
Tournament of Roses Parade themes
Every year, a new president is elected for the Tournament of Roses. One of his duties is to come up with a new theme for the forthcoming celebrations and festivities. Most of the volunteers and professionals get inspired by this theme as they decorate their floral floats to feature on January 1 marching floats. Some of the most common themes that have been picked up since the creation of the Tournament of Roses are : States and Nations in Flowers, Passport to the World’s Celebrations, Poems in Flowers, Tales of the Seven Seas, Dreams in Flowers, Golden Legends, Romance in Flowers, America in Flowers, Holidays Around the World, Wonderful World of Adventure, Around the World in Flowers and Ballads in Blossom
Bands:Top school and college marching bands from all over the US and world are invited to The Tournament of Roses. The Tournament of Roses Honor Band is a coveted position, and those selected are among the best student musicians. University Marching bands from the two schools participating in the Rose Bowl are invited to march in the parade. They typically accompany the float that represents their school.
Also, the Tournament sponsors BandFest, where the selected bands perform field shows at the City College Stadium over two days.
President and Grand Marshal: Every year, a new president is elected and a new Grand Marshal to administrate the Rose Parade. These positions are filled by some of the world’s most distinguished figures for such honorable position. Past Grand Marshals have included actors, astronauts, writers, artists, athletes and political figures.
2008 Rose Queen & Royal Court: A place of honor is reserved in each Rose Parade for the float carrying the Royal Court. Every September nearly 1,000 young women vie for the honor of riding that float – participating in a month-long interview process designed to find those participants with the right combination of poise, personality, public speaking ability and scholastic achievement.
When it’s all over, a Rose Queen and six Rose Princesses will reign over the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game . They will attend nearly 150 public and media functions during their year in the spotlight, spreading the word about the Tournament and Pasadena wherever they go.